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Chinese Party Ideas

Chinese party gathering
Let’s face it. Hosting the same parties with the usual themes can get pretty boring. No matter how good the food is or how beautiful the place looks, chances are your guests will forget about it after some time, and think of it as just another simple celebration. To make sure your party stands out among all the others, here’s one unique idea —why not throw a party inspired by the eastern world, like a Chinese party? It’s a wonderful twist to your usual celebration.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, the Chinese New Year, or if you just want to enhance your usual dinner party, using a Chinese theme is a great idea. After all, Chinese is one of the most interesting and influential cultures in the world. You don’t have to be a native of the country to plan a Chinese good party. Here are some ideas to help you out.

Invitations Chinese-Style

Chinese invitations
Letting your guests know the party is all about Chinese culture is very important. Make sure you mail the invitations a couple of week before the event, so they can have ample time to prepare for it. There are beautiful ready-made Chinese invitations sold in party supply stores or specialty shops, and these can blend well with your oriental theme.

You can also make your own invitations. If you have many art materials at home, this will be a better option because you can save more money. Use colorful art and construction paper and paste Chinese characters and images on them. Then write the party details with a red ink pen.

Here’s another yummy idea—bake big fortune cookies, wrap them up and give them personally to the guests. When they crack it open to read their fortune, they’ll read the party details instead.

You can also use Chinese take-out containers. Write the details on a bright red paper, roll it up, and put in the containers. Then mail them to the guests.

Another idea is to write the invitations on a homemade dragon-shaped paper lantern. You can also use construction paper for this project. If it’s a Chinese New Year party, write “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” on it, which means “Happy New Year!”.

Chinese Decor

Unless you’re holding the party in a Chinese restaurant, you have to prepare the venue and make sure it really looks Chinese. Otherwise, your guests won’t feel the party theme.

It’s nice if you can practice a few Chinese traditions as part of the celebration. Here are some you can try.

  • Keep brooms and dustpans out of sight to prevent good fortune from being swept away.
  • Don’t raise your voice or cry. It’ll give you a tone of discord the following year.
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    Keep brooms off sight
    Remove shoes
    Leave doors open
  • Ask your guests to take off their shoes as they enter the party place, to invite a smooth transition for the year.
  • If the weather permits, open your doors and windows. It lets good luck into the place.
  • Don’t use white. In Chinese belief, white symbolizes mourning and death.

After considering these beliefs, you can now move on to decorating your place, Chinese-style.

  • Think red. Red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, bringing good fortune and good luck. Base most of your decorations on this color.
  • Get some red and black balloons with long gold ribbons hanging from them.
  • Use red ribbon to wrap around the plants in your home for a pleasing look. You can also hang ribbon around your walls and ceilings.
  • If you have lucky bamboo plants, place them around the place.
  • Paste Chinese lucky characters around your walls upside down. You can also hang them on windows and doors.
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    Red and black balloons
    Use pionies flower
    Light some incense
  • Put up traditional wall hangings with Chinese phrases and good luck sayings.
  • String flower garlands and place them on your doorways and mantel.
  • Purchase some traditional Chinese lanterns and line your walkway with them. They bring light and luck into your celebration.
  • Use peonies for your event. These are known as the “Flowers of Riches and Honor” in China. You can get peony flower arrangements or get clear glass bowls with water and let them float in them.
  • Get red and black tablecloths. Dust gold confetti over them. Then, light some red and gold candles.
  • For a sweet smell throughout the event, light some incense and put it in tall vases around the place.
  • Put platters of tangerines and oranges around the place. They symbolize happiness and add a colorful look.
  • Make a “Tray Of Togetherness”. This is a tray of sweets that has eight dried fruits in it, giving a sweet start to the year and making a lovely centerpiece for your party. First, get a large, round or octagonal tray with eight compartments. For every section put one piece of coconut (unity), candied melon (good health) , red melon seed (joy), kumquats (prosperity), lychee nut (strong family), lotus seeds (fertility), peanuts (longevity) and longan (many good sons). Put the tray in the middle of your banquet spread.

Dress like chinese

Dressing Chinese

To really get the feel of the event, it’s great if you can ask your guests to come in Chinese costume. You can make it fun, and ask them to wear cheongsams and Chinese robes, paired with Chinese slippers. It’ll be delightful to see your guests milling around in Oriental fashion.

If you think it’s too much of a fuss to ask them to don Chinese attire, you can just impose a simple dress code. Tell them to just wear crimson clothing for good luck. Ask them not to wear white, because of its negative meaning. Let the guests know about this dress code by noting it in the invitations.

Chinese Entertainment

After all your guests have arrived, you can now start having some Chinese fun. Try these enjoyable Chinese-inspired activities.

  • Mah-johngg Tournament – A game of calculation, strategy and skill, this ancient Chinese game is popularly played by Chinese and even non-Chinese people. Have a tournament and the one who emerges the winner gets a special prize.
  • Chinese Zodiac Game – You need a deck of Zodiac cards for this game. First, have everyone stand in a circle. Pin a Zodiac Card on their back. When everyone has a card on his back, send them off to find their card’s pair. Before they can, they must first find out what their card is by asking yes or no questions. The first pair that finds each other wins.
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    Majong set
    Zodiac cards
  • Zodiac Treasure Hunt - Use the same deck of Zodiac cards, but get two sets in two different colors. Before the party, hide one set of cards around the venue. Then, before the game begins, give each person a card and tell them to find the matching card in the other color.
  • Fortune Cookie Race – You need as many fortune cookies as you can get. First, select the players for this game. Prepare the fortune cookies in a bowl in front of them. At a given time limit, they must eat as many cookies as they can, reading the fortune clearly before putting it in his mouth. When the time’s over, the person with the most fortunes wins.

Food From The East

A good party is never complete without good eats, and when it comes to good food, nobody does it like the Chinese. They have a rich cuisine that combines different flavors from different regions of the country.

It’s great to serve lucky food items during your Chinese party, like whole fish, noodles, lettuce, chicken, dumplings and mandarin oranges. There are numerous recipes you can try. If you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, you can order from Chinese restaurants. They cater to large parties and will even deliver the food at your doorstep.

Here are some dishes you can serve.

  • Kung Pao Chicken – A spicy Szechuan dish made with peanuts and chili pepper.
  • Beef With Broccoli – Stir-fried beef and broccoli with a sauce made from oyster sauce and soy sauce.
  • Chow Mein – Stir-fried noodles with pork, shrimp and vegetable bits.
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    Kung pao chicken
    Beef with broccoli
    Sweet and sour pork
  • Hot Pot – This is Asia’s version of fondue. Meat, seafood and vegetable are cooked in a communal pot filled with seasoned, flavorful broth.
  • Stir-Fried Lemon Chicken – Fried chicken with a tangy and tart lemon flavor.
  • Sweet and Sour Pork – Deep-fried pork stir-fried with green bell pepper and pineapple in a sweet and sour sauce.
  • Mapo Tofu – A Szechuan dish combining bean curd, and beef in a bean-based chili sauce.

Chinese tea and Chinese beer are great choices for drinks. You can also serve red-colored beverages like Bloody Marys, strawberry juice or even red wine.

As for the dessert, guests will definitely anticipate their fortune cookies, so make sure you’ve got plenty for them. Mochi or Chinese rice cake is also a delightful treat. If you want something sweeter, then serve almond jelly with lychee.

One last tip: Use Chinese tableware when serving the food. Serve the soups in small porcelain cups, and the tea in Chinese teapots. You should also prepare chopsticks so the guests will have a great time eating.

Chinese Party Favors

Gold bag with chocolate coins
As all celebrations go, you now have to bid goodbye to your guests. Give them a sweet but memorable token to remember the wonderful time they had. One great idea is to give red Chinese money packets, the ones with gold or red Chinese characters printed on them.

Another good party favor you can give is a red and gold gift bag with fortune cookies, chocolate coins, oranges, gold ingots and three Chinese coins tied with red thread.

A pair of lovely chopsticks also makes a great party favor. Wrap them in red napkin and tie with a shimmering gold ribbon.

Who says you have to be Chinese to throw a good Chinese party? With this wonderful ideas, you’ll surely have a marvelous time. Go ahead and try them, and feel the fun and exciting Oriental theme.

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