Set the Stage
Chinese New Year is a perfect excuse to entertain friends. The 15-day celebration starts at the end of January or beginning of February and features parades, fireworks, and traditional ceremonies. Throw your own New Year's party with our decoration ideas, party favors, and three delicious Chinese recipes.
Make Fortune Cookie Favors
Fortune cookies are a favorite Chinese-inspired American invention. These DIY cloth fortune cookies are fun to make, and they are adorable party favors. Not feeling crafty? The traditional Chinese New Year gift is a red envelope with some "lucky money" inside.
Make a Themed Centerpiece
The seventh animal in the Chinese zodiac, the horse is the animal for 2014. Accent the theme with our easy DIY horse silhouette in your centerpiece. For flowers, we love a mix of camellias, daisies, dahlias, and other intricate blooms.
Create Elegant Place Settings
Pretty bowls and tied chopsticks top off this easy place setting. Chinese meals are served family-style, so bring out your large serving dishes and let guests dig in.
Editor's Tip: Red, which symbolizes good fortune in Chinese culture, was the launching point for our color scheme. Warm shades of tangerine, peach, and pink create a soft look overall.
Choose Unique Dishes
When setting this table, we looked for streamlined pieces with gentle curves for a Chinese-inspired look. An arched dish filled with sesame snacks will tide guests over until dinner.
Celebrate with Lanterns
The lantern festival takes place on the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations. Get in on the tradition with lanterns as party decorations, favors, or a moonlit lantern parade after dinner.
Decorate with Bamboo Steamers
Inexpensive bamboo steamers can serve double duty at your party: They're an easy way to cook, and they make pretty table decorations. You can find bamboo steamers online or at Asian grocery stores for less than $20.
Menu Idea: Spiced Tangerine Cocktail
Start sipping: The tangerine juice in this cocktail recipe will bring you luck and wealth, according to Chinese tradition. Garnish the rum-spiked refresher with juicy pineapple spears.
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 10 mins
Stand: 1 hr
Chill: 2 hrs
Menu Idea: Asian Dumplings with Pickled Ginger Drizzle
These juicy turkey dumplings are a luscious start to your meal. Topped with a spicy ginger sauce, they're an irresistible combination of savory and tangy.
Makes: 14 servings
Yield: 28 to 30 dumplings
Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 6 mins per batch
Menu Idea: Scallops with Orange and Honey
Garlic-seared scallops and egg noodles are the perfect entree for your Chinese New Year party. The light sauce blends orange juice with honey and Chinese Keemun black tea for a fresh, authentic dish.
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Menu Idea: Cashew Chicken
For a traditional Chinese New Year dinner, serve chicken, which is thought to be the everyman's meal. Our version of cashew chicken features so-easy frozen vegetables and spicy ground ginger.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 hrs to 8 hrs (low) or 3-4 hours (high)