Ring in the Lunar New Year with some of these delicious recipes and helpful tips that will bring you good fortune for the coming year, and a great party too.
Even if the Lunar New Year (based on the Lunar calendar and usually takes place late January, early February) isn’t one of your family’s traditions, it’s always fun to gather friends and family together to celebrate with a meal and learn about another culture. Bring this Lunar New Year tradition (with a twist) into your home and try out some of these recipes & tips for good fortune in the coming year.
- Deep clean your house to get ready for guests as well as “sweep away any misfortune” that may have entered your home over the past year. Once finished, put away all cleaning products. It’s time to enjoy family, friends & traditional food (during the New Year celebration it is important to keep all the good luck & not sweep it away).
- Enjoy some family fun by picking out something “new” to wear or a new haircut to celebrate the new year.
- Red is the official color of the Lunar New Year, as it signifies joy and luck. So, incorporate as much red as possible into your celebration, including a tablescape that features red flowers such as roses or Gerber daisies, as well as red placemats, napkins or plates.
- Oranges and tangerines (with leaves on) symbolize good fortune, so incorporate a bowl of them as a pretty centerpiece for your table. Place the flame-colored fruits in a red bowl for added flair. At the end of the meal, invite everyone to enjoy an orange as dessert that signifies good health in the New Year.
- Visit a nearby Chinatown or make a few homemade decorations to add special touches to the festivities. Chinese lanterns, fire-crackers (should be for decorative purposes only), a zodiac sign for the new year (ie 2014 Year of the Horse), red envelopes with money (for young children); Chinese symbols as wall/doorway decorations:
- Happy New Year: 新年快樂
- Good Fortune: 福
- Horse: 馬
- While you’re cooking dinner, keep the kids entertained with a Lunar New Year craft project, such as creating festive fans to add to your décor. Have them decorate a large sheet of red construction paper with a gold crayon, stickers or decorative foam stamps dipped in gold acrylic paint. Once the paint dries, fold the paper accordion style, making pleats about 1” wide and secure the bottom with a stapler, a clothespin or pipe cleaners wrapped around the end to use as a handle.