Festivities and Fun for Chinese New Year

by Catherine Sweeney, Creative Circle
February 20, 2015

Chinese New Year was February 19, but the celebration typically lasts 10 days, giving you many options for planning and hosting your own party. Here’s some quick inspiration:

Celebrate in the ID
Gather friends and family for all-day Lunar New Year activities (11 am – 4 pm) in Seattle’s International District (ID) on February 21. This family-friendly event celebrates the diversity of Seattle’s Asian communities, and features the traditional dragon and lion dances, along with many different cultural performances. Visitors can also enjoy the popular food walk with $2 tastes at neighborhood restaurants.

Chinese New Year Party Ideas
Host festivities at your home, and welcome the Year of the Sheep…Goat…Ram? A single Chinese character represents all three, so take your pick! Clothing and decorations Encourage your guests to wear red, associated with happiness and good fortune in Chinese traditions. If you’re lacking that essential color in your wardrobe, you can find lots of choices at Goodwill. Look for red vases as well, and fill them with fresh flowers.

Serve Chinese tea, available from Seattle retailers including Ballard’s Floating Leaves Tea, where you can sample up to three teas for $5. Need a new teapot? We've got plenty!

Choose takeout from one of Seattle’s many Chinese restaurants, or make your own favorites. The Food Network’s Ching-He Huang offers more than 170 recipes online. Surprise your guests with customized fortune cookies from Seattle’s own Tsue Chong Company. If you’d like to indulge, while branching out into different Asian food traditions, order a delicious dessert from Hood Famous Bakeshop. This online bakery specializes in a wide range of Asian and Hawaiian-influenced desserts, including a rich purple ube cheesecake.

If you have younger kids at your party, make your own Chinese dragon and then parade around with it. Here’s a colorful version constructed with paper plates and featured on the blog Arteascuola. For other child-friendly dragon and sheep/goat crafts, check out the options on Pinterest. Teens and adults may enjoy some Chinese astrology – available in a quick-read version on many online sites, or from the trend-setting Astro Twins, whose 2015 horoscope book includes Chinese signs.

Cap off your party with a Mahjong tournament – visit Goodwill to find extra sets.

If it’s true that we make your own luck, you’ll have made plenty by beginning the new year with hospitality, humor and fun!


Catherine Sweeney, APR is a professional writer and communicator affiliated with Creative Circle. She dedicates her Goodwill blog-writing in memory of her mom, an avid thrift-shopper and advocate for social change. 

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