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Chinese new year is a festival observed upon the start of a new year in the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2022, it will fall on February 1. Also known as spring festival or lunar new year. The Chinese new year is celebrated amidst a variety of old customs and traditions, as well as some new ones.
The preparations for the festivities begin as early as a week or so before the first day of the next year in the lunar calendar. People start with preparing for new year foods, praying to their gods, and follow by thoroughly cleaning out their houses as part of an activity called “sweeping away the dust”.
People also shop for the Chinese new year, which carries on until the second last day of the year according to the lunar calendar. Putting up new year’s decorations follows. The coming new year will be the year of the tiger, so you will see tiger imagery rather frequently. On the day of the new year, fireworks are set off along with colorful displays of dragon and lion dances. Red envelopes containing money are also exchanged.
Now that we have an idea of how the festivities are structured, we can discuss some Chinese new year party ideas and activities along with some decoration ideas.
Chinese New Year Theme Party Ideas
Each year in the Chinese lunar calendar is signified by one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. Bring in the animal of the incoming year into the theme of your party. You can do that by including the tiger (which is the animal of this year in 2022) in your decor and theme, maybe even animal masks!
The palette of the Chinese new year is dominantly defined by red and gold. Red signifies vitality, power, and happiness so make sure you set down red as the base color wherever you can. Gold on the other hand symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and good fortunes, so it is a good idea to use gold accents wherever you can. For example, you can have the invitations in red with embossed gold lettering, or red balloons with writing on them in gold, wishing your guests a happy new year!
Another theme idea for a Chinese new year party is to have envelopes of “lucky money”. These are red envelopes containing money traditionally exchanged on the new year to wish others wealth, good luck, and prosperity. You can hand them out yourself or have guests exchange them. Alternatively, you can switch to red goodie bags full of candy to wish your friends a sweet new year.
Chinese New Year Party Food
The celebration of the Chinese new year is closely related to food and desserts. You can make it yourself, or decide to have a professional caterer take care of it for you. Whatever you decide to do, the menu should include traditional Chinese new year’s cuisine throughout, for a thoroughly festive new year’s feast. Some must-haves for your Chinese new year party food are
- Dumplings shaped like the full moon, which are symbolic of family and perfection
- Long noodles, which represent a long life
- Little cakes are called fat your wealth cakes.
- Desserts with oranges and tangerines since they represent wealth, luck, and happiness.
- Fortune cookies
For the main course, you can go with chicken stir fry noodles and chicken dumplings which you can serve with an orange or tangerine dipping sauce for an additional bout of good fortune and luck.
For dessert, offer a choice of sponge cake with orange sorbet, rice pudding, or fortune cookies to top off the feast. Red velvet cake is another choice you could go with, as it would also go along with the red-colored theme of the party.
For drinks and beverages, there are several choices you could go with. You can use oranges and tangerines to whip up orange or tangerine liqueur or make cocktails, margaritas, and mocktails since the citrus fruits symbolize good luck and wealth. You can also go the route of blending in with the red theme and serve your guests' pomegranate or raspberry cocktails.
Yet another option is lychee. The sweet yet tart fruit signifies beauty, wellbeing, and love. Pour all that love into a lychee juice cocktail or a lychee liqueur. If you’re out of your comfort zone working with the fruits and drinks, you could always hire a bartender to take care of it for you.
Chinese New Year Party Decoration
The incoming Chinese New Year in 2022 will be the year of the tiger, which is one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. Each year has a certain animal, the properties of which are imbued into the year. So for your decorations, keep in mind that it might be a good idea to include a tiger in your decoration, perhaps its silhouette printed in gold on red on the invites, balloons, lanterns, etc, or a tiger garland hanging from the ceiling or wall.
Another important component of your decorations will be the color palette. Red with gold accents is the preferable choice, since red symbolizes vitality and vigor, whereas gold signifies wealth and good fortune.
Putting up red lanterns with gold accents is a good way to bring up the room. The lanterns are meant to drive off bad luck and ward off evil for the coming year. Pair a red lantern hanging off your door with door couplets in red, with good wishes in black in on them. The couplets are always paired since even numbers represent good luck in Chinese culture.
Paper cuttings are another excellent Chinese New Year party decoration idea. Typically red for this occasion, you can paste them onto a contrasting backing or a window. The cuttings typically have an image of a certain auspicious plant or animal on them which signifies the qualities associated with that plant or animal. For example, the pomegranate signifies fertility, the signifies longevity, the pine tree signifies eternal youth, and so on.
Don’t forget to include dragons and lions in the decor as well. The dragon is a symbol of strength and good luck for the Chinese New Year, whereas the lion symbolizes strength, stability, and superiority. You can stretch a long paper dragon along with the ceiling or the wall, or use their images on your paper cuttings.
You can also hang up the Chinese character “Fu” on your front door or window since it means good luck or good fortune. Some Chinese hang it upside down so that it seems luck is pouring down on them.
Blooming flowers are another great lunar new year party idea. Since the Chinese New Year is also called the spring festival which heralds the arrival of spring, it is common practice to decorate with blooming plants and flowers, symbolizing the arrival of spring and wishes for a prosperous and fulfilling new year. The most popular blooms used are branches of plum blossom, peonies, peach blossoms, and orchids.
The Chinese New Year is a festive occasion that is celebrated upon the occasion of the arrival of the new year according to the Chinese New Year. It is also called the spring festival or the lunar new year. If you want to celebrate the Chinese New Year by throwing a party, we have compiled a list of Chinese New Year party ideas as well as Chinese new year party food and decoration ideas, so you can celebrate the arrival of spring to its fullest and enjoy the festivities without having to worry about coming up with ideas.