The Year of the Sheep
The Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the New Moon. This year it falls on February 19th. It is “The Year of the Sheep”! For ways to celebrate, turn to traditional Chinese customs, foods, and colors for inspiration. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it and use your imagination.
Red is an important color not only because of its intoxicating vibrancy, but also because of its rich meaning in Chinese culture and history. It is said that 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 biggest 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 takeout containers from a party supply store and fill with flowers in shades of reds, golds, and oranges. These sweet, petite arrangements can also be given as gifts to your guests when the party is over.
Or you could go with a more glam look like this. Deep, rich red roses snuggled in a Chinese takeout- inspired purse would make a lovely surprise for someone special. Just line the container with a waterproof plastic dish or even a tin can, fill with fresh clean water, cut the roses short and place in container!
“Sake” to Me Baby! A few stems of dendrobium orchids placed in a beautiful sake bottle is an easy yet elegant touch that is sure to delight. A tea light in a matching sake cup completes the look!
Lettuce wraps are a fun and easy traditional Chinese food. They are served at New Year’s because the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune. And they are filled with other lucky food such as noodles and peanuts. You can find some great recipes for lettuce wraps at www.food.com and www.foodnetwork.com
Hongbao, which are small red envelopes stuffed with money, are often given to unmarried children. You can find these envelopes at party supply stores or online at www.orientaltrading.com.
Download free, printable Year of the Sheep graphics like the one I used on the container holding the Hongbao for an even more custom look!