Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days. Fifteen. Now, if you’re anything like us, you just can’t see yourself partying for 15 days without losing your job or your liver. So, for the sake of having one big celebration, this is how to throw a Chinese New Year party for one night only.
Set the tone
First of all, cleanliness is a big part of Chinese New Year. To really start with a clean slate, it’s tradition to do a very thorough house cleaning before the new year. Then, at your party, it’s customary to ask your guests to remove their shoes at the door. All of this is said to lead to good luck and a smooth transition into the new year. Once your home is spotless, it’s time to decorate.
Red and gold – that’s your color scheme. In many Asian cultures, red envelopes symbolize a monetary gift for a special occasion. So, you may consider sending your invitations in red envelopes to go along with your theme (you can include chocolate coins to replace the money). You’ll want to hang beautiful Chinese lanterns throughout your home (and outside, too, so that new guests can easily identify your home). Cover your table with a rich, red table cloth and use gold-trimmed plates or gold napkins, placemats, or other finishing touches. Many choose to adorn their tables with Chinese dragons as centerpieces. However, you can also decorate by placing bowls of mandarin oranges (which represent wealth, luck, and happiness) out for your guests to enjoy.
It also adds to the ambiance to have some music playing in the background. Consider instrumental, western, pop, or ethnic party music to add to your event.
Dinner is served!
Clams, spring rolls, lettuce wraps, mandarin orange pancakes, dumplings, and crispy orange beef are just a few popular options for your Chinese New Year menu. If you’re not up for cooking, hire a Caterer to whip up delicious traditional Chinese dishes for you and your guests. Your desserts should be orange based or otherwise relate to your Chinese New Year theme. When it comes to alcohol, you should talk to your Bartender about serving drinks that involve oranges (like Fuzzy Navels or Orange Martinis), coconuts (Piña Coladas – add a touch of blue curacåo), pomegranates (Pomegranate Martinis), or other red beverages (like Sangria) to go along with your theme. Do not serve anything with cream or that is white in color, as white represents death and mourning.
Buy Chinese takeout boxes and fill them with party favors for each of your guests. Some great favors to celebrate Chinese New Year are chocolate goldtone coins, fortune cookies, oriental fans, Chinese opera masks, character bead bracelets, mini paper lanterns or dragons, and other traditional Chinese sweets or gifts. If your budget allows, you may also consider booking a Photo Booth for your event and laying out themed props. You and your guests can pose with paper dragons, red boas, and other fun props – and the photo strips make great party favors!
Chinese New Year is all about new beginnings, luck, and happiness. So celebrate with your loved ones and have a happy new year!