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Celebrate The Chinese New Year
January 29th, 2006 is the first day of the Chinese New Year and is marked by the new moon of the Chinese lunar calendar. Year 4703 is the year of the Dog, but you can celebrate with an Asian themed party or an Oriental themed party any day of the year.
Chinese New Year festivities are a traditional part of ancient Chinese culture and the colors and symbols from Chinese culture make planning and decorating easy. Just follow these easy step-by-step instructions and you�ll know how to throw an Asian themed party that will bring Chinese New Year joy into the lives of your friends and family.
Step 1: Planning
1. Send out invitations.
Two weeks before your party send out the invitations. Remember to indicate on the invitation that this is an Asian themed party and that guests should wear official colors of the Chinese culture � red and gold! As the host, you'll want to be decked out in all your Asian themed finery--choose between a red satin mandarin hat or a straw Oriental hat. Accessorize your outfit with a traditional floral fan for a really fun look!
2. Select a menu.
Decide when, where, and how you are going to serve the food. China is know for it�s delicious food and unless your family owns a Chinese restaurant, you may want to make plans to serve carry out favorites like Stir fry chicken, beef and pork. For authenticity, provide chopsticks for your guests to use. Watch as they have a good time figuring out the correct way to eat with them. Don�t forget to end the meal with fortune cookies.
3. Asian Theme Party Decorations and Atmosphere
A party without music is like shopping China Town without money. Make the mood come alive by having appropriately themed music playing softly in the background. We suggest the soundtrack for our favorite movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to start out, then kick it into high gear later with the sounds of "Kill Bill", "Kung-Foo Fighting", "Wang Chug" and "One Night in Bangkok".
Hang paper lanterns from the ceiling beginning in the corners of the room, working toward the center. Give the lanterns some glow by attaching white Christmas lights to them and winding the strands among them to create an "under the stars" effect. The lights should be dimmed, but not too dim that you can�t read the Chinatown banner along the wall.
Step 2: The Party
1. Arrival of the Guests:
Welcome guests and give each one a mandarin hat or a floral fan as they arrive. These favors are inexpensive and go a long way in making the mood for your Asian themed party come alive.
Guests can be lead to a table with name tags and magic markers. Instruct guests to write their names and their Chinese astrology signs on the name tags. (Have a place mat from your local Chinese restaurant on hand for reference if needed.) Not only do these name tags tie in wonderfully with the d�cor, they also provide instant introductions and conversation starters.
2. Games and activities:
*Chinese and Asia themed trivia for the Jeopardy-loving partygoers, or for a more sit-down type of party.
*For children and more adventurous adults a game of "Catch the Dragon�s Tail" can be enjoyed. Guests line up in a row putting their hands on the persons shoulder in front of them. The first person is the dragons head and the last person is the tail. The head tries to catch the tail without the guests in the body of the dragon coming unhooked. Children can take turns being the dragons head.
Step 3: Party Wrap Up
Time for party favors awards and prizes! Some ideas are:
*Metallic Fetti Swishers � They�re gold and fit your theme.
*A red envelope with small amounts of money inside � It�s a Chinese tradition and may bring good luck.
*Chinese finger traps.
*Snap and Pops � safe and fun firecrackers that ward off evil spirits.
Step 4: Clean Up
Usually the host is on their own when it comes to clean up, unless you assemble a small crew of helpers ahead of time. Party clean up can be made easier if you use paper plates and plastic silverware.
"Gung Hay Fat Choy!" (Happy New Year!)
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