Lunar New Year Party Tips

Chinese red lanterns lighten up across a marketplace

Looking for a reason to gather friends and family? Host a party for the Lunar New Year (based on the lunar calendar and usually takes place late January, early February). Even if you’ve never celebrated before, exploring another culture (and their food!) is an exciting learning experience you can share with loved ones. Honor the holiday with the following tips for decorating, entertaining and bringing good fortune into the new year!

1. Deep clean your house to get ready for guests as well as “sweep away any misfortune” that may have entered your home over the past year. Once finished, put away all cleaning products. It’s time to enjoy family, friends and traditional food (no cleaning during the New Year celebration, you want to make sure you keep all the good luck and not sweep it away).

2. Encourage your guests to pick out something “new” to wear. You could also get a new haircut to celebrate the new year.

3. Red is the official color of the Lunar New Year, as it signifies joy and luck. So, incorporate as much red as possible into your celebration, including a tablescape that features red flowers such as roses or Gerbera daisies, as well as red placemats, napkins or plates. Many families wrap lucky money in red envelopes to share happiness and blessings with the receivers.

4. Oranges and tangerines (with their leaves still on) symbolize good fortune, so incorporate a bowl of them as a pretty centerpiece for your table. Place the flame-colored fruits in a red bowl for added flair. At the end of the meal, invite everyone to enjoy an orange for dessert, which signifies good health in the New Year.

5. Craft a few homemade decorations to add extra-special touches to the festivities. Chinese lanterns, firecrackers (only for should decorative purposes only), a zodiac sign for the new year (i.e. 2020 Year of the Rat), red envelopes with money (for young children); Chinese symbols as wall/doorway decorations:

Happy New Year: 新年快樂

Good Fortune: 福

6. While you’re cooking dinner, keep the kids entertained with a Lunar New Year craft project, such as creating festive fans to add to your décor. Have them decorate a large sheet of red construction paper with a gold crayon, stickers or decorative foam stamps dipped in gold acrylic paint. Once the paint dries, fold the paper accordion style, making pleats about 1” wide and secure the bottom with a stapler, a clothespin or pipe cleaners wrapped around the end to use as a handle.