Going to a New Year’s party is always a blast. But what If you are the one throwing the party? Trying to decide what foods to serve, games to play, and decorations to put out to keep your guests happy can be a bit over whelming at times. Why not throw a Chinese themed New Year’s party for something a little different! Here are some great ideas to create your party around this theme:
Make your invitations on a homemade paper lantern. You can use red construction paper to create them. Place pictures of China onto the invitations and write, “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” (Happy New Year!)
Make sure you clean your house first! The Chinese consider it very important to give the house a good cleaning by sweeping away any bad luck that may have accumulated over the past year.
Hang Chinese paper lanterns all over. Hang up Chinese travel brochures or posters as well as Chinese zodiac signs. Hang up dragon masks as well. To create a lantern you will need construction paper, scissors, tape, stapler, ruler, pencil, and glue or glitter if you like. Use your ruler to measure and cut 1″ off the short end of your paper. Set this aside to use as the handle. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Draw a 1″ line from the end of the long edge of the paper opposite the folded edge. This will be the line where you stop cutting. Measure and mark lines 1″ apart starting at the folded edge and moving towards the Cut on the marked lines up to the “stop cutting” line. Unfold the paper. Re-crease the paper in the opposite direction. This will hide any pencil marks. Match the long edges together on the lantern and use tape to hold it in place. Staple the handle to the top of the lantern. If you wish, add glue, glitter, sequins or other things to decorate your lanterns.
Have a Chinese dragon parade and set off party poppers to ward off evil spirits. Have some fortune cookies printed up a head of time with silly New Year’s Resolutions and have guests read them aloud. Learn the Chinese zodiac and have guests learn about what year they were born. Print out fun facts about Chinese beliefs and traditions regarding the New Year. One example is to not clean your house for the first few days after the New Year because you risk sweeping away your good fortune (I am sure many of us moms will have NO problem with this tradition!).
Serve up fortune cookies of course! Green tea, Chinese take-out food, egg rolls, and mandarin oranges served over ice cream. Many Chinese foods have particular meanings so be sure to include a few:
A small stuffed animal of the year, chopsticks, and a red envelope with money inside (a Chinese tradition) all make wonderful party favors.
Throwing a Chinese new year’s party is sure to be a big hit with family and friends. It is fun to do something a little different. And learning about another culture will make your party memorable.