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Article: Lunar New Year Gathering

Lunar New Year Gathering

Lunar New Year Gathering

A Celebration Like No Other

Don’t let the post-holiday lull make you feel uninspired to celebrate. Find an excuse to gather again and host a Lunar New Year celebration in honor of the culture surrounding the Chinese zodiac classification system. We’re sharing one of our favorite gatherings to host and everything you need to get started!


The Gathering

We’ve hosted a few different gatherings inspired by Chinese culture and tradition, all featuring pieces from our Chinese Zodiac Collection. While the most obvious occasion to use this theme idea for is Lunar New Year, we also think it makes for a fun birthday soirée since so many of the details can be tailored to the honoree’s sign. In fact, a few years ago, we hosted a joint 60th birthday celebration for Marcie, and Kyle’s mother-in-law, Ginger who share the same exact birthday and themed all the party details around their sign that happened to be the sign for their year – the Year of the Rat! 


This themed party is so much fun to host because it may be something unique and new to your guests, and it’s always thrilling to learn about a new culture and experience traditions. The details can be tailored to the guests’ signs so they can learn about the history of the Chinese Zodiac and the traits of their own sign – talk about a conversation starter! 


As Lunar New Year 2023 is quickly approaching {mark your calendars for January 22, 2023 – it's the year of the Rabbit!}, we’re thrilled to share this done-for-you curated gathering idea to inspire you to gather and host for yourself. 


The History of the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is a classification scheme that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. This ancient classification system dates back centuries and is a fun way to learn more about yourself based on the year you were born.


The Traditions

A common and festive tradition of Lunar New Year is to hang bright red lanterns throughout the home to symbolize good fortune and welcome in the new year. As you prepare your celebration, make sure to include lanterns and bright red hues to welcome in a joyful and prosperous new year! 


The Table

This festive celebration is a great way to make your guests feel a part of something special. One of our favorite ways to bring in a thoughtful element to this gathering is to learn each guests’ Chinese zodiac signs and set their place settings with coordinating dinnerware that resembles their zodiac symbol. This thoughtful touch will not only make each guest feel special and thought-of but can also teach them something new they may not have known about themselves. 


Have fun and break the norm by setting the table in a unique location. Whether it’s strategically arranged in the middle of the living room or outside, your gathering can be whatever you make of it. Wherever you choose to dine, be sure to add a bit of flair to your gathering with unique décor inspired by the theme of the celebration. 

The Serving Spread

As you plan your Lunar New Year gathering, first imagine how you plan to serve your guests. A common tradition in Chinese cuisine is serving dinner family-style by using a Lazy Susan rotating serving piece to pass the shared dishes around the table. This type of serving ensures everyone gets their share of the delicious foods prepared – especially the highly-anticipated menu served on Chinese New Year. 


As we were planning for our Lunar New Year gathering, we quickly realized an issue while scheming the serving would we serve 18 people at one table??


Our immediate family can just barely fit around a standard 12-person dining table. With an additional 6 guests, we knew we’d have to get creative. We tossed out ideas, but we kept coming back to how restaurants traditionally do it in China: huge tables with a giant oversized Lazy Susan. 


If only we could make that happen… 

Sometimes the universe gives you lemonade instead of lemons, so you can skip right past the squeezing part… 

The day before the party, we were unpacking dishes, building tables and clearing away furniture. Courtney ran some collapsed boxes over to our dumpster, and wouldn’t you believe it?! Someone left a perfectly sized round piece of wood right there for us to find.

She gave the troops a call, and within minutes it was loaded up in the back of our car. We cleaned it up, added a spinner on the bottom and voila! A perfect, over-sized Lazy Susan. 



The Menu  

Every festive gathering needs a festive menu! For those that may not know, Chinese dishes are full of flavor... and therefore, take some time and effort to prepare. If you’re up for the challenge, go for it! If there’s ever a time to experiment with the menu, this is it. If you’re like us, and like a good high-low mix, try mixing some homemade dishes with takeout. 



For homemade recipes, you can’t get much easier (or delicious) than Steamed Pork Dumplings. Hint: make sure to make more than you think you need – you'll be shocked at how fast they go! 

Add in your favorite takeout Egg Rolls and a few must-have dishes and you’ll be set for a memorable meal!

Get inspired to gather again after the hustle of the holiday season and host your own Lunar New Year gathering! It’s a festive and unique celebration that highlights the traditions of Chinese culture while bringing friends and family together for a memorable evening.

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