Ring in the Chinese New Year with a Festive Celebration
January 07, 2013
Ring in the Chinese New Year with a celebration that combines the traditions and decor of the Chinese culture with the fun and festivities that will make the occasion memorable for everyone!
Whether you traditionally celebrate the Chinese New Year or want to expose your friends to a new culture, ringing in the Chinese New Year is an ideal chance to get together with friends and loved ones during the dreary winter months when everyone is looking for a reason to celebrate and have a good time. Invite everyone over for the big event with Oriental themed invitations that have all your party information preprinted, leaving you with plenty of time for the party planning details. Be sure to let your guests know that it's tradition for everyone to dress in bright red attire for the Chinese New Year in order to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
In keeping with Chinese tradition, before you can start decorating for your Chinese New Year celebration, you'll need to grab a broom and sweep out any bad luck that might be lingering from last year. A good sweeping will prepare the home for the new year and leave it ready to receive good fortune, which everyone needs! Once you've swept out the old year and all its negative vibes and bad luck, you'll be ready to decorate your party space with festive Chinese New Year decorations! With red being the color associated with the holiday, you'll want to make this the dominate color scheme in your decor. If you don't want to go all out with the decorations, you can simply stock up on some basic Chinese themed paper goods to serve your food on, and maybe hang some Chinese good luck lanterns around the room and focus on the activities and traditions associated with the holiday. For a more elaborate Chinese New Year decor, add Chinese good luck garlands, cover the ceiling with Chinatown swirls, and line the driveway with luminaries.
The key to a successful Chinese New Year celebration is more than fun decorations wishing everyone good luck in the new year though. It's in the foods you serve and the traditions you share! You'll want to fill your buffet table with plenty of Chinese-inspired dishes to tempt your guests' taste buds and introduce them to the dishes associated with the holiday! Traditionally, a Tray of Togetherness is served, featuring eight dried fruits, each of which has a special meaning and giving your guests a sweet start to their new year. Fill a large tray with candied melon for good health, red melon seed for joy, lychee nut for strong family, kumquats for prosperity, coconut for unity, peanuts for longevity, longan for many good sons, and lotus seeds for fertility. You can all serve spring rolls, steamed dumplings, fried rice, pot stickers, and stir fry. Your guests will be clamoring to fill their plates with your delicious Chinese goodies!
Superstition plays a big role in the Chinese New Year celebration. Your guests will hopefully have followed your instructions and arrived in their crimson clothing for good luck. You've already given your home a good sweeping to get rid of last year's bad fortune. There are also a couple of other superstitions that play a role in the Chinese New Year.
- Weather permitting, you'll need to open the windows and doors to help good luck find its way into your home.
- Light as many candles as you can, using flameless candles if you're worried about fire risks.
- Turn up the lights to scare away the ghosts and bad spirits that may wander as the old year draws to a close.
- To avoid the risk of washing away good fortune, don't wash your hair during the Chinese New Year.
- Focus on the upcoming year and the opportunities it will offer and don't talk about or dwell on the past year.
Print up a list of these traditions and have copies available for your guests who aren't familiar with the traditions associated with the celebration. They'll appreciate learning about the superstitions and the reasons behind them.
Whether celebrating the Chinese New Year is an annual event for you and your family or you are just taking the opportunity to learn about a new culture, planning a Chinese New Year celebration the perfect chance to get together with friends for an extra dose of good luck, some good food, and good friends!