Now, this might sound like a basic rule for anytime you plan to entertain guests, but it's especially important for the Chinese New Year, a time when it's customary to clean the home as a way to eliminate bad luck and make space for the good things that might come your way. So don't skimp on the vacuuming and dusting before your celebration!
Food is a great way to fully entrench yourself in the spirit of a culture, so put your culinary skills to the test by preparing a variety of traditional Chinese dishes for the occasion. If you're planning a relaxed cocktail party, go for appetizers, such as dumplings with dipping sauce, egg rolls, spring rolls and zesty chicken lettuce wraps. Or if you're having a more intimate gathering with a sit-down dinner, serve these long life noodles or pork chow mein. And for dessert? This Chinese New Year sticky rice cake will be the perfect sweet treat!
Chinese New Year is traditionally welcomed with bright and beautiful decorations, so don't hold back when preparing your home for the party. Red symbolizes many positive aspects of life, such as happiness, so feature that colour as much as possible in your decor. Simple paper lanterns and decorative dragons are easy to find at your local party store and make for a budget-friendly way to begin decorating your space (partycity.com). One of the many wonderful Chinese New Year traditions involves writing well wishes on red pieces of paper and placing them around the home. You can do this yourself or make it a fun activity for the evening for your guests to participate in. Cut out squares of red paper, ask guests to write down positive quotes, words or thoughts, and then tape them around your home. Not only will your guests have fun reading what everyone else wrote, but you'll have some thoughtful reminders of the wonderful time you had altogether for days to come.
Around holidays or special occasions, it's tradition in many Asian cultures to place money in a small red envelope and give it as a gift. The envelopes are usually given by older generations to younger generations, but there's no harm in giving each of your guests a special token. Grab a pack of red envelopes (amazon.com, $5), and place a small amount of money you're comfortable giving into each one. This small token is a nice way to thank your guests for coming and to give them something with which to remember the evening.
Now that you have some ideas, will you be throwing a Chinese New Year Party this February?
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