Chinese New Year is an important celebration recognized around the world. In many parts of the world, it’s also known as the Lunar New Year, while in China, it’s also referred to as the Spring Festival — since it marks the end of the coldest days of the past year.
This 15-day festival is celebrated annually and is significant to Chinese culture. Celebrations are thrown worldwide as a way to honor and celebrate asian ancestors and deities and regional traditions and customs. During these celebrations, it’s all about good food, sharing traditions, and spending time with loved ones.
When it comes to throwing your own celebration, there are important features and steps that must be taken to ensure you’re following traditions and doing right by your ancestors. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a Chinese New Year party and how you can get started creating your own.
Sweeping Away Bad Luck
Before any decorations are put up or any food is prepared, it’s customary to sweep your home as a way to ward off any bad luck. This creates a clean slate which is met with guests taking off their shoes before entering the home to symbolize a clean transition to the new year.
The Color Red
In Chinese culture, red is an important color. Red symbolizes power, vitality, and happiness, which is why it’s used in Chinese New Year decor. While this color is a symbol of good luck and good fortune for the coming year, it is also believed the tradition of using red comes from a legend involving Nian, a beast who was known to be scared of the color.
Using red wherever you can during your celebrations is important. Consider stringing lanterns from your ceiling, dawning your home with red flowers, and even creating signature red cocktails for guests to enjoy. Lastly, incorporate gold accents — gold represents wealth and prosperity.
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Exchanging Red Envelopes
An important Chinese New Year tradition is exchanging red envelopes with family and friends during celebrations. Small red envelopes are filled with what’s known as lucky money. This symbolizes good fortune and is a significant gesture in Chinese culture.
Serving Traditional Foods
Like any traditional celebration, the food that is served is an important part of honoring one’s culture. During your Chinese New Year celebration, you want to create a menu with various Chinese foods. Spring rolls and egg rolls are popular choices since they resemble gold bars and are commonly served to encourage prosperity.
Sweets, in the form of dessert and candy, are seen as bringing sweetness into the new year. Dumplings are often served because it’s believed, based on an ancient legend, that the more dumplings that are eaten, the more wealth you accumulate. When it comes to serving fruit, items such as tangerines and oranges are thought to bring good fortune and luck — and are often displayed around the venue and served to enjoy.
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