Creative Ways to Celebrate Lunar New Year At Home This Year
Set the Stage
Lunar New Year is a perfect excuse to celebrate. The holiday often features parades, fireworks, and traditional ceremonies. This year, create your own celebration at home with our decoration ideas, party favors, and three delicious Chinese recipes. Oranges symbolize good fortune and wealth, so orange juice is a great base for a festive cocktail.
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
Brighten the traditional gold and-red combo with pink and orange. A centerpiece starring dahlias, lilies, mums, poppies, and ranunculus creates a refreshing palette. Bamboo steamers ($20, Bed Bath & Beyond) make great vessels for flowers. Line with plastic, then use floral foam to keep stems in place.
Create Elegant Place Settings
Napkins and chopsticks ($5, Etsy) serve double duty as decorative elements for the table in shades of orange, red, and pink. Floral patterns on bowls and fabric fortune cookies nod to traditional cherry blossom motifs, which symbolize power and love.
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 the kids over until dinner.
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.
Menu Idea: Steamed Dumplings
These juicy steamed dumplings are a luscious start to your meal. Topped with a spicy ginger sauce, they're an irresistible combination of savory and tangy.
Menu Idea: Spring Green Fried Rice
Menu Idea: Quick Szechwan Chicken
For a traditional Chinese New Year dinner, serve chicken, which is thought to be the everyman's meal. Our version of Szechwan chicken features spicy chile-garlic sauce, precooked brown rice, and honey-roasted peanuts.
Test Kitchen Tip: Make this Chinese New Year recipe up to three days ahead and store it in the refrigerator.