11 Creative Ways to Celebrate Lunar New Year at Home This Year

decorative floral chopstick napkins cherry blossom
Photo: Blaine Moats

The 15-day Chinese New Year festival is the perfect time to celebrate good friends, good food, and good fortune. Give this traditional Chinese holiday a new look with fresh color combinations and fun takes on old favorites. We'll show you how to celebrate Lunar New Year at home this year.

01 of 11

Set the Stage

orange lunar home celebration
Blaine Moats

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.

02 of 11

Make Fortune Cookie Favors

cloth forunate cookies note
Blaine Moats

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.

03 of 11

Make a Themed Centerpiece

bamboo steamer fresh flowers horse
Blaine Moats

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 make great vessels for flowers. Line with plastic, then use floral foam to keep stems in place.

04 of 11

Create Elegant Place Settings

decorative floral chopstick napkins cherry blossom
Blaine Moats

Napkins and chopsticks 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.

05 of 11

Choose Unique Dishes

arch dish sesame snacks pink
Blaine Moats

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.

06 of 11

Menu Idea: Spiced Tangerine Cocktail

Spiced Tangerine Cocktail
Blaine Moats

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.

07 of 11

Menu Idea: Steamed Dumplings

Steamed Dumplings
Andy Lyons

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.

08 of 11

Menu Idea: Spring Green Fried Rice

Spring Green Fried Rice
Blaine Moats

Dress up classic fried rice with frozen edamame, ginger, and sesame oil. This easy Chinese New Year recipe can be dressed up with spicy crushed red pepper and freshly sliced green onions.

Test Kitchen Tip: Use a wok ($40, Williams Sonoma) to get this fried rice extra crispy.

09 of 11

Menu Idea: Quick Szechwan Chicken

Szechwan Chicken on plates with chopsticks
Jason Donnelly

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.

10 of 11

Menu Idea: Soba Noodle Bowl

Soba Noodle Bowl
Andy Lyons

Soba noodles are a Chinese dish that are traditionally served at the start of each new year. It's said that the longer the noodle, the longer the life of the person eating them—so it's thought of as good luck to serve this dish as part of a Lunar New Year celebration.

11 of 11

Menu Idea: Homemade Donuts

overhead view of Gluten-Free Cake Donuts
Blaine Moats

Don't forget the dessert! Donuts are often served at new year celebrations because the ring-shape food symbolizes the year coming full circle. Plus, our baked donut recipes are much easier than frying them, so they're easy to prep for an at-home celebration.

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