More holidays, more ways to celebrate! The Lunar New Year is coming up on February 12! I LOVE celebrating this holiday because 1) The FOOD - It gives me a reason to splurge on an amazing feast, 2) I enjoy gathering with my whole family, 3) I get red envelopes with $$, 4) I get to celebrate my Chinese heritage. Although like Christmas, celebrating this holiday won’t be the same, I have a couple of fresh and fun ideas to celebrate the Lunar New Year at home this year.
1. Recreate the Experience
Normally, I would be gathering with my cousins, aunts, and grandma at a Chinese restaurant and having an enormous feast around a large round table. This year, I’m celebrating at home with the people in my bubble and ordering Chinese take-out because traditional Chinese dishes are difficult to make at home. To elevate my Lunar New Year celebration at home this year, I thought about recreating the experience I’d have at a Chinese restaurant, so I don’t feel like my experience is contained or lacking due to the pandemic. Heightening your experience to the max includes adding things into your environment that stimulates each of your senses, which goes beyond ordering Chinese takeout. This can include:
Dressing up for the occasion, like bringing out the cheongsam (women’s traditional Chinese dress) or changshan (men’s traditional Chinese robe) hiding in your closet.
Decorating your home with Lunar New Year decorations (ie: Chinese lanterns, artwork).
Using lighting to set the ambiance.
Adding background music or noise to match the environment.
Setting your table with special dishware (ie: beautiful china).
Making this celebration an immerse experience at home will make this Lunar New Year just as or more special than previous years. If you think about it, people often pay to have companies create an immersive experience. This way, you’re using your creativity to do it.
**For wine and food recommendations for the Lunar New Year, check out my blog post on Chinese Food with Wine.
2. Casino / Mahjong Party
People these days seem to have A LOT of money to blow – just look at the prices on the stock market. I haven’t been to a casino since the pandemic started and don’t intend to go anytime soon. Although, I do miss the excitement of putting my luck to the test and earning some extra cash… then losing it. If you feel me, now is the time to get together your friends that don't mind throwing around some extra cash in the "friend economy," buy some wine and boozes, and bring out your card, poker or Mahjong set. Especially with the stress around the continuance of restrictions and lockdown, this is the perfect therapy to combat that. Not to mention, who doesn't benefit from finding some luck in their life?
3. Virtual Game Night
Like a Casino/Mahjong Party, gaming with friends and family is a great way to get everyone together. This activity is favourable for people who want to spend the Lunar New Year with loved ones outside of their bubble. Game consoles like Nintendo Switch can connect you together to play their games online, of course. Another option is playing games using your smartphone through online party gaming platforms like JackBox TV or BOMB. This option is great if your friends who don’t have the same game console. Find a list of online party games here.
4. Art Activities
As adults, we tend to do less art, but people forget how therapeutic it is. Doing art in a group is super fun because you get to see what others create with their imaginations (and make fun of people’s silly art). It’s also inspiring to see other people’s creations and push each other’s creativity to the max, which are benefits of creating art with others. Since it’s the Lunar New Year, themed crafts like Chinese Lantern making or Chinese calligraphy are great (you can find inspiration for crafts on Pinterest). But with art, anything goes, so the activity can simply use the materials you have at home – pencils, paints, clay, knitting. To help get you started, check out this blog for ideas for crafts.
One crafty way to utilized used wine bottles is by making them into glass cups. All you need is a glass cutter and sandpaper, and you can make your own glassware. You can find the instructions on how to do this below.
恭喜发财 . 新年快乐 !
Wishing you great happiness and prosperity. Happy New Year!