In 2014, January 31st officially begins the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac. It is a great time to kick the winter blues and have an Asian themed party. Here are some ideas to help you celebrate Chinese New Year!
According to the Chinese, people born in the year of the horse (1944, 1952, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) are known for having the characteristics of leadership, independence, intelligence, friendliness, and refinement. Sound like anyone you know? You can find lots of great information on the Chinese zodiac and all of its years and signs at travelchinaguide.com.
Here are a few traditions that are fun and easy to implement into a Chinese New Year celebration:
Chinese New Year Party Supplies from Shindigz.com
Clean up the House — An important custom for the Chinese is cleaning up the home before the New Year so that you get rid of any bad vibes from the previous year and are ready to start fresh on New Year. Running late? Skip the cleaning! It is considered bad luck to do any cleaning on New Year’s Day, as this will sweep out all the promise of the year ahead.
Host a New Year’s Eve Dinner — It’s customary to invite family and friends over on the eve of the new year for a celebratory dinner. Often, fish and dumplings (jiaozi) are cooked. Sometimes families even hide a coin in one of the dumplings. Whoever gets this special treat is in for a an especially lucky year!
Keep Things Upbeat! — New Year’s day is said to set the tone for the whole year ahead, so be sure to keep any negativity or bad news far from your celebration.
Pass Out Red Packets — Another Chinese New Year tradition is handing out Chinese red envelopes, usually given to the children in the family by the adults. These envelopes contain small amounts of money and are thought to bring health and prosperity in the year ahead.
Decorate with Red — Red is the traditional color of fortune in China and so most decorations on the New Year center on this color. Here are some decorations that are often associated with the holiday:
- Upside Down Fu — The Chinese symbol fu represents good luck and prosperity, and when it is hung upside down, the meaning is “good luck arrives.
- Paper Lanterns — Red paper lanterns make especially pretty party decorations for the new year. You can find directions for a paper lantern craft on our blog. Amazon also sells a great assortment of decorative Chinese paper lanterns.
- Paper Cuttings
- Door Gods
- Poetic Couplets, or Duilian
Chinese Cultural Cutouts
Chinese Character Confetti
However you decide to celebrate, we hope 2014 is a year filled with lots of fun and joy. Gong hey fat choy!