Chinese New Year – 2010 the Year of the Tiger

Celebrate Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the New Moon. This year, the year of the tiger, the Chinese New Year falls on February 14th – Valentine’s Day! So even if you’re not in a “love relationship” you’ll have a reason to celebrate and host a party that weekend. There are some traditional Chinese customs, foods, and colors that can inspire you and point you in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it and use your imagination. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Decorations

The Chinese are fascinated by the color red, not only because of its intoxicating vibrancy, but also because of its rich meaning in Chinese culture and history. According to Chinese customs, red is the color of the soul of the nation. The color red signifies reunion, health, happiness, harmony, peace and prosperity. So guess what color palette I would suggest for your Chinese New Year’s celebration? That’s right – red!!

Flowers are an important part of the Chinese culture and New Year’s is the busiest day in the Chinese flower market. Flowers are said to bring good luck and are given when visiting family for the traditional New Year’s Eve feast. Pick up decorative take-out containers from a party supply store and fill them with flowers in shades of red, gold, and orange – both in honor of the New Year and the tiger. These sweet petite arrangements can also be given as gifts to your guests when the party is over.

Floral Decor

If you start to think outside of the box you’ll discover that Chinese take-out containers have a lot of uses. I used one to hold some bamboo handled cutlery. I cut off the top flaps and filled it half way with red paper shred. I scanned this colorful image of a Chinese tiger and attached it to the front of the container for even more “pop”.

Utensil Holder

Food

Lettuce wraps are a fun, easy, traditional Chinese food. They are served at New Year’s, because the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, and the wraps are filled with other lucky food such as noodles and peanuts.

Lettuce Wraps

Gifts

Hongbao, small red envelopes stuffed with money, are often given to unmarried children. You can find these envelopes at party supply stores.

Money Bags

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