The 3 must-haves for a Chinese New Year party
December 15, 2009
You know what's wrong with holidays? There's only one of them at a time. Well, that's not going to happen in 2010.
Next year the Lunar calendar has placed Chinese New Year on the same day as Valentine's Day, which means that single people, or those who don't want to embrace a holiday dedicated to coupling, finally have something else to do on February 14.
The holiday, which is celebrated on the first day of the first month in the Lunar calendar, is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays.
There are different ways to host a Chinese New Year party. Hosts can incorporate some historical aspects into the celebration with traditional Chinese New Year party decorations, while others may want to focus the event as a way to bring the family together.
In ancient times, Chinese villagers spoke of a mythical beast called the Nian. The story was that this beast would attack the people who lived in these villages and the only way to save themselves was to make a lot of noise and use bright lights.
This is why in some Chinatowns in major metropolitan cities in the U.S., there is a Chinese New Year dragon dance, where people parade around a giant colorful dragon in the streets. As this happens, people light firecrackers to scare the dragon away. Sometimes there is a peace offering of food to the dragon. Those who successfully drive away the Nian, will have a year of good luck.
With every Chinese New Year party, there are three must-haves to ensure it's done right and that your party guests experience a traditional celebration.
Chinese New Year Dragons
Chinese New Year Dragons are important to set the mood for the holiday and serve as a fun activity for younger guests. Like the dragon dances in city streets, consider using these Chinese New Year decorations and explaining to any children at the party that the Nian has to be scared off.
Use party supplies such as party horns or kazoos to help them make as much noise as possible. It may also be wise to invite some adults into another room to avoid the ruckus (or they can join in with some festive yelling!). After the noise, put the Chinese New Year dragon in another room and declare that everyone will have good luck in the following Lunar year!
There is no harm in ordering from the local Chinese food take-out restaurant, but for those Chinese New Year party planners who are more interested in supplying traditional fare, some extra work may be needed.
Traditional Chinese food includes certain soup and meat dishes. There is black sesame rice ball soup, as well as won-ton soup (which may be easier to get a hold of).
For the main dishes, stick to chicken, pork and fish inspired dishes. Those who are lucky enough to have a Chinese grocery store nearby should see if roasted pork is available (which is one of the premiere dishes at any Chinese New Year party).
There are also plenty of options for vegetarian guests, especially with a dish like Buddha's Delight, which is comprised of just vegetables.
The Color Red
Chinese culture is very big on symbolism and during a Chinese New Year party, the color red should be very prominent. Tablecloths, napkins and cups can all be red, as well as your outfit for that day. Again, red is a sign of good luck.
And don't forget that 2010 is the year of the tiger, which means Chinese New Year decorations can incorporate the animal as well.
Ready to host a Chinese New Year party? Then be sure to check out these links to ensure you have all the Chinese New Year decorations you need, like a colorful hanging, Chinese dragon to display for your guests. Need more? Check out www.windycitynovelties.com for additional party supplies for Chinese New Year.