Every Chinese New Year celebration marks the start of a new Chinese zodiac year. In total, there are 12 different Chinese zodiacs which are cycled in a specific order.
They are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. With each animal being featured in a different year, you can create an exclusive Chinese Zodiac-themed event according to the year’s featured zodiac.
Red, Red, Red
Whatever the decoration item it is that you choose, you will definitely not be out of place with red-colored decorations all around the event.
This can be your tablecloth, an outfit, or anything else as long as it is sharp red in colour.
You are bound to see a lion dance accompanied by a loud, rhythmic drum beat. A lion dance can be invited into your home, a corporate event, or simply as a performance agenda during your event.
These dances were initially thought to ward off the monster Nian with all the loud noises but are now a popular option to make any event merrier.
Traditionally, red papers are cut out in intricate designs and words usually depicting wealth, auspicious plants and the Chinese zodiac of the year. You can choose the cut-outs from your favourite Chinese New Year themes.
However, there are much fancier designs now with pop-ups, colourful cut designs and many more. It’s not surprising to see 3D cuts either. These designs can also be pasted on doors and windows.
The Arrival of Luck
You can always catch the word ‘Fu’ being hung upside down on doors and other areas in a house.
This word means ‘luck,’ but when you invert the word, the phrase ‘inverted luck’ in Chinese sounds similar to ‘luck has arrived.’ This is believed to bring good fortune to anyone staying in the house.
During Chinese New Year, you might see red coloured lanterns being hung in front of doors. These are believed to drive off bad luck.
You might also notice smaller, decorative red ones being strung up on trees or around the gates just like how Christmas trees are decorated.
If there is food involved, why not make some dishes with bamboo steamers? Steamed food like dim sum and buns are a classic favourite when it comes to food, and it is also a healthy option.
The best part? Bamboo steamers can be dainty little table decoration items if you do not intend to cook with them.
New Year Couplets
The Chinese have plenty of auspicious wishes and greetings that they write in calligraphy on two red strips of paper.
Wishes are generally written in pairs, and these calligraphy works are always pasted on doors or at the left and right side of the doorframes.
In Cantonese, the name of this plant sounds like ‘gold’ and ‘luck,’ so it’s no wonder why this plant is so well-loved in the Chinese community. You might see a Kumquat plant potted outside the house, or indoors as a decorative plant.
If there’s anything that you need to have on the table for your guests, it’s fortune cookies. These little cookies are easy to make, and you can print out some strips of paper with fortune cookie quotes to put into them as an extra measure.