Also known as the Lunar New Year, Chinese around the world celebrate the new moon and new year at a point each year between late January and mid-February. This year, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 10, 2013 under the sign of the snake.
Like any new year celebration, it's a time to surround yourself with good friends, food, family, and drinks! A Chinese New Year, however, focuses on preparing for a year full of good fortune and prosperity. So put away your silver and gold decorations and bring on the red, it's time to celebrate another type of new year!
Chinese New Year Food & Drink
Who doesnt love some Chinese food? For Chinese New Year, though, there are some very particular and special things you should eat. If you dont have time to cook these things, then theres always Chinese take-out!
Steamed Fish is extremely traditional. Make it with a soy sauce mixture with scallions. It goes great with white rice.
Usually Chinese eat a big Yellow Tail fish at New Year celebrations, but since fish are a symbol of surplus in the culture, they do not finish the entire dish with the idea that it will bring a surplus in the year to come.
Though they're not really found in China and do not hold a special meaning in new year celebrations. they're still fun and appropriate for the celebration.
This is sticky rice cake that is eaten every new year. It's actually a really difficult recipe to make if you're not familiar with it, but you can always buy it at the Chinese bakery. For kids, eating it symbolizes growth in height; for adults, eating it symbolizes a promotion in the coming year.
Fried or steamed dumplings are both great choices for the night. What's fun about dumplings on Chinese New Year is that for a few dumplings, you can add either one red date (symbolizing fertility and new births) or one coin (symbolizing prosperity). Whoever eats a dumpling that has either of those things, well, that's just good luck!
Tea is a great choice for your Chinese New Year party. You can serve your guests hot jasmine, chrysanthemum, or green tea. For cool drinks, try going to a Chinese supermarket and finding a classic sweet Chrysanthemum drink or cold Barley tea.
Though not a traditional addition to celebrations, we like the idea of serving a signature cocktail at our Chinese New Year parties. Try some Asian-inspired sips that will please the adults in the party. A few of our favorites? A Lychee Martini or Asian Pear Margarita.
Chinese New Year Decor
Decorations are very important, and this is especially true for a Chinese celebration, where everything symbolizes something.
If you want to use flowers for this celebration, keep in mind these particular flowers when creating your arrangements and bouquets:
Peach blossoms: symbolize luck
Kumquats: symbolize prosperity
Chrysanthemum: symbolize longevity
Water Narcissus: They usually bloom around the New Year, so get some. If they bloom on New Year's day, you'll have years of good luck.
The Color Red
Don't be shy with using red colors everywhere. Try out these options to make your party luck-friendly:
Wear new, red clothes. Tell your guests to wear red if they can too.
Use red streamers to hang around the ceiling.
Hang red lanterns in place of red balloons.
Traditional Chinese Decorations
Koi fish: No need to get real koi fish, we're talking paintings of these fish or any depiction of them. They represent having surplus and having additional savings. It goes with the Chinese New Year saying: ninnin yuy.
Yuanbao ingots: Use these golden yuanbao for your house. These are little blocks of gold that symbolize money and wealth. They were shaped like ingots because that was ancient China's form of currency.
Lanterns: Not all lanterns are alike. For Chinese New Year, you use red and oval-shaped lanterns made of paper to celebrate.
Chinese Sayings: Try putting up some pieces of Chinese calligraphy on your walls, like this "Success and Prosperous New Year Blessing Spring Couplets". Or even a good chinese fortune is what you need to hang on your door.
Lions and dragons: These are two of the more popular Chinese animals, but you should also feel free to incorporate the animal symbolizing the current new year. (2013 is the year of the snake)
Chinese Pop: If you're looking for contemporary Chinese pop, this particular author loves Chinese popstar Wang Lee Hom. Buy one of his albums "Heroes of the Earth" from iTunes. Another famous pop icon is Jay Chou, get one of his albums off iTunes also.
Traditional Chinese music: Try out some traditional music for your party.
Check out more Chinese New Year fun and history below!
Traditionally, this may not be how red envelopes are passed out, but it's a fun way to give everyone a chance at taking a little something back home with them. Read More
Though 2013 may be the year of the snake, dragons are a popular symbol in Chinese New Year celebrations. Find out why, here, and then incorporate the traditions into your own celebration. Read More