With Lunar New Year (LNY), otherwise known as Chinese New Year, coming up on January 22nd, we decided to put together a quick how-to for planning a fun LNY event.
The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and each year is represented by one of the 12 zodiac animals. This year is the year of the rabbit, which symbolizes energy, elegance, and beauty. Sounds “Hot” – right! Lunar New Year is a fun time to gather with friends, coworkers and loved ones to (continue) to celebrate the new year and the welcoming of prosperity. Want to know how to celebrate like a pro? Check out our quick guide for amazing ways to kick off your 2023 Lunar New Year!
Bring the lucky vibes to your Lunar New Year party with red decorations. The color red is a common element of a Lunar New Year celebration, as it is to represent and promote happiness, vitality and good fortune. Incorporate this in all sorts of fun ways with red balloons or lanterns, light red candles around the house or venue, or red flowers in vases. Add in a pop of color using gold glitter or confetti – the symbol for wealth & prosperity
Red Chinese Lanterns
Chinese lanterns are an important decor element used for Lunar New Years celebrations, and used to symbolically ward off bad luck. Hang them anywhere – inside, outside, home, office
Red lanterns represent family gatherings and a brighter future and instantly set the mood for a holiday party.
The use of flowers is also a significant piece of LNY decor, as the blooming of flowers is to symbolize the coming of Spring and blooming luck for a prosperous new year. Common flowers used include orchids, peonies, plum & peach blossoms.
As the color red is used to symbolize wealth, it also brings literal wealth in the form of the tradition of lai see or red packets or envelopes filled with money that are gifted to children or unmarried adults. A fun and modern way to incorporate this into your LNY celebration is to use lai see or red envelopes for your invitations or event menus.
To start the new year fresh, the custom is to ‘sweep away the bad luck’, with a nice thorough clean of the house or venue. A modernized version of this tradition is to include wearing of new clothes, also symbolizing a clean slate and fresh start. An easy way to incorporate this into your event is to make the dress code reds of all shades. The attendees will match with the event decor for extra fun and memorable photo ops.
THE CLASSIC FOODS
The fun part of any traditional celebration is the opportunity to make and enjoy foods that are symbolic and unique to the event, and Lunar New Year is no exception. Symbolically, the creation and enjoyment of a feast of food & drink are to provide hearty sustenance and energy for guests and loved ones to prepare for a prosperous new year. Dumplings or jiaozi, are a staple and the time-consuming preparation process is also designed to allow for loved ones and family time together. Another feature is their resemblance to gold Yuanbao, an old currency that suggests good fortune for the new year.
Another traditional dish is to make noodle stir fry with long noodles, which promises longevity.
Fish, spring rolls, shrimp, and whole chicken are also common, and always served with orange dipping sauce.
To promote a sweet new year provide sponge cake with orange sorbet, rice pudding or homemade fortune cookies to top off the evening.
TOASTS TO THE NEW YEAR
And don’t forget something fun to wash it all down with and serve fresh fruit cocktails to give everyone a taste of good fortune. Lychee is a popular Chinese fruit so mixing your drinks with lychee liqueur or lychee juice is a fun and unique flavor twist. Enhance red scheme with a pomegranate or raspberry cocktail or orange/tangerine margaritas.
Looking for more inspiration or some help with bringing these concepts to life? Contact our Toast of the Town Design team for more inspiration and to take your event to the next level.
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