Chinese or Lunar New Year is nearly upon us (February 10th), so here are a some fun party ideas to help inspire your own celebrations for 'The Year of the Snake!'
Traditions and customs in China vary widely for these celebrations, but the general consensus is that red is the color of choice for the decor and attire. It is the color associated with health, luck, prosperity and general good fortune. With this tradition in mind, keep to a fun and vibrant color palette for your party, and draw inspiration from hues of reds, golds and oranges.
You can't have a party without invitations, and a fun and vibrant printable invite will help set the tone for the festivities to come - Whether you stipulate a dress code or are having a pot-luck party (where guests bring a dish of their choice), try to have fun with your invitations and think of creative ways to embellish them with craft supplies and paper decor.
Chinese paper lanterns add instant height and wow factor to any table or candy buffet, and you can also make your own DIY version using some printable scrap-booking papers an glue. Chinese fans are also a go-to decor staple for these holidays, and available in most party supply stores. Tradition also calls for gift giving, and red envelopes make for an ideal party favor.
You can make your own from printable papers and templates, or simply embellish standard red envelopes (from stationery suppliers) with printable tags and craft embellishments, or use a golden pen to personalize each envelope - These red envelopes are traditionally filled with an even number of money, but I rather like the idea of using chocolate coins! A crimson floral arrangement displayed inside a Chinese take-out box looks as fab as it is easy to make. Finish the look with a couple of chopsticks and a printable paper dragon for the perfect table centerpiece!
The party food can be as elaborate as you dare, but for a more modern desserts table, keep to the color scheme and serve the usual suspects with the volume turned up: petit fours, mousses or macarons flavored with mandarin and oranges, red and orange-colored candy, cake pops and beverages, decorated cupcakes with Chinese motif fondant toppers, as well as glittered fortune cookies for a spread that will appeal to the eyes and taste-buds alike. End the festivities with a bang - fireworks are said to ward off evil, but red paper crackers and fortune cookies are also a good alternative to add a little pop to your party!
Image sources (from top left to right): Chinese Paper Lanterns, Chinese Tablescape and Red Envelope, Golden Chocolate Coins, Chinese Fan, Mandarin Macarons, Chinese New Year Party Printables and Invitations, Chinese New Year Cupcakes.