Throw a party for Chinese New Year

Ring in this Chinese New Year with a roar! It is the Year of the Dragon, after all. The New Year kicks off on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, so plan to throw your soiree this weekend or next. It’ll be a welcome excuse to get together and spread some cheer in the middle of winter!

Chinese New Year celebrations

The holidays seem positively ages ago, and everyone’s looking for an excuse to get together and party. So, why not get together for the Chinese New Year? This is the Year of the Dragon, which signifies luck — great themes that lend themselves to some fantastic party ideas.

The menu

Take this opportunity to show off your culinary skills in Asian cuisine. Offer a mix of tried-and-true favourites plus a few more adventurous dishes to make sure everyone can find something to eat. Alternatively, go with a dim sum theme (to save yourself some work, consider getting some of the dim sum as takeout from your favourite spot). For serving, offer personal takeout containers and chopsticks so people can mingle easily with their food while at your party. And, of course, everyone loves fortune cookies (if only for the fortune) so be sure to get a bowlful of those as well.

Some recipes to consider:

Take-out Chinese food recipes
Chinese New Year recipes
Staple Asian Sauce recipe

Chinese foodThe invitations

If you have time to send invitations, use the little red envelope usually given to kids and single people at New Year’s with some money inside. If you don’t want to send invitations in the mail, perhaps use these envelopes to hold a small cookie or some dragon stickers or tattoos for any young guests as a party favour.

The decor

Red (which represents vitality and power) is a traditional Chinese colour, so keep your eyes peeled for napkins, plates, and tabletop decor within this colour scheme. Make sure to make a visit to the nearest Chinatown, where you’ll be able to stock up on plenty of inexpensive accessories, such as pretty lanterns. Place a bowl of oranges as part of your decor — oranges represent happiness and are a sign that your friendship with your guests is a long and pleasant relationship.

The entertainment

Rent a bunch of dragon-themed movies to watch (or just have playing in the background) during your party; or, if your group of friends likes board games, get a mah-jong set and give it a whirl. With the Dragon signifying luck, consider some friendly wagering to keep things interesting!

The party favours

Print out each person’s horoscope according to the Chinese zodiac on some pretty stationery and pop it into their goody bag.

more party ideas you may be interested in

Throw a chase-the-chill-away party
Throw a fantastic supper party for your foodie friends
Outdoor party themes for winter

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