When the New Year is done and dusted, it’s time to start thinking of the Chinese New Year, but you’re going to need a few Chinese theme party decoration ideas to set the mood. This celebration starts on January 25th and lasts until February 8th, so between our New Year and the Chinese New Year, you need to get busy!.
Let’s start with finding out more about this annual celebration, then we’ll give you some tips on how to throw a Chinese New Year party, and finally, explore what decorations are used on Chinese New Year.
What does the Chinese New Year celebrate?
Also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, this is China’s most important festival and starts on the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar. It’s a celebration of the end of winter and the beginning of spring – hence the name Spring Festival. The original Chinese New Year party was a day to pray to the Gods for a good planting and spring harvest, but it was also a way to celebrate their ancestors. People from all over the world head home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their family. In fact, so many people travel that it’s said to be the biggest movement of people from one place to another every year!
There are also a number of taboos during this festival, and adhering to these taboos is meant to ensure good fortune and happiness for the following year. These taboos include not saying anything negative, not breaking glass or ceramics and not cleaning or sweeping (there’s a day dedicated to cleaning before the festival commences). You also can’t use knives, scissors or sharp implements, and you must even avoid your in-laws or their family for the entire length of the festivities!
Now you know more about these celebrations, let’s take a look at how to pull together your own Chinese New Year party. Then we’ll cover five of the Chinese New Year decorations you must have to host an authentic party for your guests.
How to throw a Chinese New Year party
You need to start your Chinese New Year party preparations by cleaning your home before the New Year starts – sweeping away all the bad luck that has accumulated over the year. It’s also important to exchange gifts during this festival, and if you want to be true to Chinese traditions, you need to swap small red envelopes filled with money, symbolising the gift of good fortune. You can purchase these envelopes online at CostumeBox, but if you don’t want to exchange money with your guests, you can fill small red gift bags with other thoughtful presents. It’s a good idea to check with your guests beforehand, so you all agree on what to do about these gift exchanges on the day. Here are three more tips for how to throw a Chinese New Year party at your home.
Invitations: Don’t forget to send invitations for your celebration, with red and gold being the traditional colours for your invites. Ask everyone to RSVP, giving you the correct number of guests for catering.
What to wear: Traditionally, Chinese people purchase a new outfit for these celebrations, but whatever you do, don’t wear black or white. These two colours are meant for mourning, not celebrating, but gold, red or other vibrant colours are ideal.
What to cook: Food served for the Spring Festival celebrations is symbolic, so serving just any Chinese food isn’t holding to tradition. For an authentic touch, include in your menu a clear soup, stuffed dumplings, noodles, a whole fish, spring rolls, and mandarins.
Chinese theme party decoration ideas
Celebrations include street parades and lots of symbolic costumes, food and fireworks! For your party, however, you need to know what decorations are used on Chinese New Year that you can co-opt for your home and garden. So let’s take a look at five Chinese theme decorations you can easily find online or make yourself.
1. Beautiful Chinese red lanterns
Always used in the most important festivals and celebrations, these fabulous red lanterns are traditionally hung on trees and entryways to businesses and homes. They are meant to drive away bad luck and we have a range of these goodwill lanterns in the CostumeBox vaults. You can hang these lanterns around your patio and garden, as well as at the front door to your home. They offer a lovely ambience as guests enter your home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with you and your family.
2. Hang Chinese couplets on your front door
These couplets are popular Chinese New Year decorations and are comprised of two lines of poetry, one on each of the couplet pair. For the Chinese New Year, these lines will wish good fortune and prosperity to your guests. They are written using calligraphy techniques in black ink on red paper banners, hung lengthwise down your door. You can also hang lanterns that have good wishes written in Chinese on their sides, as well as red garlands and whirl decorations.
3. Year of the rat Chinese New Year decorations
According to the Chinese calendar, the animal that represents 2020 is the rat! This might not be the easiest focus for Chinese theme decorations, but you can come up with something! How about finding some fun images of rats online and pasting them onto paper lanterns or hanging them as banners in your garden? Any red and gold decorations with images of rats will do the trick!
4. Hang red paper cut-outs on windows, walls and doors
Chinese New Year decorations include Chinese paper cutting that dates back thousands of years and is a popular form of art in mainland China. Traditionally plants or animals are cut out of red paper with each image symbolising a different hope, need or wish. For example, badgers symbolise great happiness, butterflies symbolise long life and beauty, dogs symbolise understanding, and dragons symbolise fertility.
5. Lots of fabulous flowers
Since the Spring Festival is a celebration of new growth, for your Chinese New Year party it’s a good idea to fill your home with fresh flowers, as this is another way to bring prosperity into your home. Orchids, peonies and peach blossoms are traditionally used in China, but in Australia, any beautiful array of flowers will be just as welcoming.
For more glorious Chinese theme party decoration ideas, check out the fun-filled vaults at CostumeBox.