Conventional New Year celebrations may be over, but there’s another New Year to be celebrated: Chinese New Year. This festive holiday is considered the most important holiday and festival in China. This year, the holiday falls on Tuesday, February 5 with the celebration of the year of the Pig(gy)!
While a tradition among the Chinese, there’s no reason for anyone else not to join in on the festivities. Celebrating the first day of China’s lunar calendar is a great way to appreciate the rich Chinese culture. And what better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than with a party!
If you’re thinking about throwing your own Chinese New Year bash in appreciation of the Lunar New Year, it’s important to understand what these festivities are centered on. Namely, these celebrations revolve around four specific things, including:
- Decorations with lucky red items – Red is the main color for the Chinese New Year festival because it is a sign of prosperity and good luck.
- Family time – People dedicate this time for family. In fact, the ‘reunion dinner’ enjoyed on Chinese New Year’s Eve is considered the most important meal of the year.
- Fireworks – It’s customary for fireworks to be set off the first moment of the new year.
- New year’s gifts and red envelopes – People who celebrate Chinese New Year exchange gifts, the most common of which are red envelopes filled with money.
All four of these factors should be considered when planning a Chinese New Year party. To make sure you’ve got everything you need to throw an amazing and authentic Spring Festival shindig, we’ve compiled a handy checklist of party supplies you’ll want to add to your arsenal of goodies and some tips to make your party a success.
Clean to Keep Bad Luck at Bay
Before you start decorating your home for your Chinese New Year party, your first step is to clean. Doing so symbolizes the elimination of all the bad luck from the current year to make room for better luck in the new year to come.
When your guests arrive, politely instruct them to remove their shoes in order to make sure that not only your home is kept clean, but that the New Year itself starts off clean and free of bad luck.
Decorate with Red
Being that red is the most important color of the Chinese New Year because of its representation of success, it only makes sense to splash the color red throughout your venue.
More specifically, red paper decorations, like paper lanterns, are customary for these types of celebrations. It’s tradition to use these decorations throughout the home, including in windows and on front doors.
You can include even more red in things like flowers, streamers, lights, signs, and gift wrap.
Accent with Gold Highlights
In addition to red, gold also has its place in these celebrations. Chinese tradition dictates that gold highlights are indicative of prosperity and good fortune for the new year to come. As such, it’s customary to include gold accents in Chinese New Year festivities as a symbol of wealth and good luck. So be sure to sprinkle in a few gold accents throughout your decor!
To further solidify the message of wealth and prosperity, it’s also tradition to write people positive messages of good luck. To incorporate this tradition, write your own messages on red cards using a gold marker and place them in spots were guests will inadvertently stumble upon them.
Add Elements of the Chinese Zodiac
According to Chinese tradition, there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals, each of which represents years. These signs play a key role in Chinese culture and are used to determine a person’s fortune for the new year, employment opportunities, health, marriage possibilities, and more.
Since 2019 is the year of the Pig(gy), be sure to incorporate these signs into your decor. You can display pig(gy) decorations and figurines to stay true to your authentic Chinese New Year party. You can find all kinds of products like these by shopping online, including at Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
Another important symbol in Chinese culture is the dragon, which symbolizes good luck, strength, and goodness when transitioning into a new year.
Dragon-related items can be a fabulous addition to your party decorations considering how bold and colorful they are. String dragon garlands across your venue to implement this important Chinese symbol while really making your venue stand out.
Because exchanging gifts is a Chinese New Year tradition, make sure you’re prepared with gifts for your guests. This can be something simple like a small parting gift wrapped in a red gift bag. You can find great Walmart deals on reg gift bags both in-store and on their website.
Or, you can supply everyone with a red envelope, encourage everyone to include money in their gift envelopes, and draw names out of a hat. Of course, you’ll want to give your guests a heads up about your idea, so be sure to mention the gift exchange in your invitation.
Set the Tone for the Festivities
This isn’t your average party. A Chinese New Year party needs to be true to the meaning of the holiday, and the ambiance you create should make it feel as authentic as possible.
In addition to the decor you display, you can easily set the mood by playing traditional Chinese music and serving up a signature red cocktail. Ingredients like cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, and grenadine can all give whatever drink you make the red color you want. Whether your signature drink is a martini, spritzer, margarita, or daiquiri, as long as it’s red, it will fit the bill!
Serve Traditional Chinese Fare
No party would be complete without the food! But for this party, the choices you make can really add to the authenticity of the celebrations. Here are just a few suggestions to consider:
- Stir fry noodles
- Chicken dumplings
- Lettuce wraps
- Spring rolls
- Wonton soup
Also, consider keeping oranges or tangerines out, as they represent wealth, good luck, and happiness.
Set Off Fireworks
To really start off the new Lunar Year with a bang (no pun intended!), consider setting off fireworks. In Chinese tradition, fireworks are meant to scare off the beast Nian, who is terrified of fireworks.
If you do decide to set off fireworks, make sure to keep safety measures in check. Choose a large open space far enough away from homes and enlist the help of someone who has experience setting off fireworks.
Throw the Best Chinese New Year Party This Year!
There’s always something to celebrate, and right now, Chinese New Year is the perfect reason to throw another gathering with friends and family while celebrating a rich cultural holiday. Keep these tips in mind and start creating your shopping list to gather up all the goods you need to host an authentic Chinese New Year party that’s true to the meaning of the holiday.