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How to Celebrate Easter

How to Celebrate Easter

Easter is a Christian celebration of new life & rebirth.

When is Easter 2021?

Sunday April 4th, 2021

What is Easter?

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary circa 30 AD. All denominations of Christianity observe this holiday to rejoice in the hope, the new life, and the eternal salvation Jesus promises to those who live by the word of God.

Eggs are an ancient symbol of new life and rebirth and became associated with Easter because the crucifixion of Christ was followed by his resurrection. While Easter eggs were traditionally dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, it’s a modern custom to substitute them with decorated chocolate or fill plastic eggs with candies because most people give up sweets as their Lenten sacrifice in the 40 days before Easter.

How to Celebrate Easter

How to Decorate for Easter

Decorate your space with items that represent the coming of spring. Pastel colors, sweet candies, and Easter eggs around the room can instantly create the holiday vibe.

Find out which local flowers are in season and put them on display in vases around your space for a pop of color and fresh aromas.
For additional festive flair, plant wheatgrass in small goblets or hang a wreath of plants and flowers on or above your main doorway.
To observe the origin of the holiday, hang artwork that pays homage toJesus Christ. Popular pieces to display include The Last Supper, Jesus ascending from the Holy Tomb or surrounded by angels, and Jesus in prayer.
Pastel colors are associated with the beginning of the spring season. Hang up streamers or ceiling decorations in corners of a room or on either side of the doorways.
Display and/or hide plastic Easter eggs filled with candies and treats. If you have any Easter eggs hidden, let your guests know so that they can begin to look for and collect them. 
Easter Egg Spinners are an egg-citing new twist on the egg decor game.  Just place your egg in the motorized spinner and color with marker to get mesmerizing patterns with less mess!
Foam Sticker Egg Decorating

Exercise imagination and motor skills in this easy to clean decorative Easter crafts!

Easter Egg Decorating

Coloring Easter Eggs in a vinegar & color based solution is a classic tradition!

Easter Games, Crafts & Activities

Easter Egg Hunt

Hide plastic Easter eggs filled with Easter candies and treats. Give your guests an empty easter basket and let them see how many they can find!

An Egg & Spoon Race is a classic holiday game.  Each team player must carry an egg on a spoon from the starting line to a turnaround point and back again. The egg is then passed off to a teammate who takes their turn. If the egg is dropped, the player must stop, retrieve it, and start over from the starting line. Bunny ear costumes are encouraged!
Race like bunnies in a good old fashion potato sack hopping race! See how quickly can you jump in your potato sack from the start to the finish line!
An Easter twist on a classic carnival game - how many cans can you knock down?

Bunny Ear Ring Toss

Inflate your bunny ears and see how many rings you can catch on your head with Bunny Ear Ring toss!

See how many points you can rack up in a game of Easter beanbag toss!
Welcome spring outside with Easter Egg sidewalk chalk!
Jumping Jack

Jack sits on top of a bunny hill filled with carrots.  On each turn, spin the spinner to see how many carrots to collect.  One special carrot will trigger Jack to jump up high in the air!  Whoever catches Jack is the winner.  If nobody catches Jack, the player with the most carrots wins!

Traditional Foods for Easter

An Easter Sunday meal begins anywhere between the hour right after Easter church service through dinner time. Hors d’oeuvres like deviled eggs and comfort food like braised meat and mashed potatoes are popular dishes to serve on this holiday.

Easter Music Playlists

Set the holiday mood with an Easter music playlist for your egg hunt, egg dying, crafting or Easter Brunch!

What to Watch on Easter

From religious recreations to light hearted films about adorable little bunnies, there's no shortage of companion viewing for this holiday!

Family Friendly Easter Films:

Peter Rabbit

Watch on Prime Video

The Dog Who Saved Easter

Watch on Prime Video

Religious Easter Classics:

Passion of the Christ

In this version of Christ's crucifixion, based on the New Testament, Judas expedites the downfall of Jesus (Jim Caviezel) by handing him over to the Roman Empire's handpicked officials. To the horror of his mother, Mary (Maia Morgenstern), Magdalen (Monica Bellucci), whom he saved from damnation, and his disciples, Jesus is condemned to death.

The Prince of Egypt

In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a Jewish slave, embarks on a quest to free his people from bondage. When his plea is denied by his brother Rameses (Ralph Fiennes), the new pharaoh, a series of horrific plagues strike Egypt as Moses finally leads the Israelites to freedom by parting the Red Sea and drowning the Egyptian army.

Jesus Christ Superstars

A 1973 Rock Opera 

Watch on Prime Video

Easter Games, Crafts & Activities

Tie-dye your shirts, hats, shoes or shorts to celebrate the colors of spring! 

Enjoy a book about Easter!
Make colorful handprints or paint your own flowers with washable paint!
Build a colorful spring terrarium!

Hoppy Easter!

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your spring!

Share This Celebration with a Friend!

Find More to Celebrate!

We're just getting started!  More celebration guides are on the way.  Sign up for our email list to receive party guides in your inbox!

How to Celebrate Easter

The Kentucky Derby

Cinco de Mayo

Holi - the Hindu Festival of Colors

Simple Corned Beef and Cabbage Mac and Cheese

St Patrick's Day

New Year's Day

New Year's Eve

Groundhog Day

Valentine's Day

Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)

About the Author: Ivy Summer

I’m Ivy, and I’m an MBA and certified wedding planner with 10 years of experience working with budget-conscious brides in the Bay Area. I’ve been based in Greece since February 2019, gaining experience in luxury, celebrity, and destination wedding planning.

Before I moved from San Francisco, I planned and coordinated the Guinness World Record attempt at Largest Public Wedding in 2015, introduced the annual Cannabis Wedding Expo to California in 2016, and launched America's first cannabis art museum tours and cannabis yacht tours from 2016 through 2018. By the winter of 2019, I launched an online wedding planning workshop called Plan Your Wedding Like A Pro to give couples the tools and the knowledge they’re lacking so that they can create a wedding that includes as many people as they want during the pandemic (thanks to the magic of technology). My specialty is to help couples experience their planning journey in a way that is as exhilarating as the wedding day itself. In May 2020, I wrote and published the world’s first book about how to plan a wedding in a pandemic, Poise Over Panic (also available on Amazon).


Holi - the Hindu Festival of Colors

How to Celebrate Holi

Holi is the Hindu Festival of Spring, Colors & Love!

Holi is March 28th - 29th, 2021

What is Holi?

Holi is beautiful Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil! It's a time for laughter, fun, forgiveness and COLORS!  There are two main parts to the Holi Festival.

The first night of Holi kicks off with a large bonfire known as Holika Dahan.  Hindu rituals that pay homage to good conquering evil are performed by the fire.  It's a time for everyone to throw their inner darkness to the fire, forgive feuds and replace anger with love. 

The next morning is the festival of colors - known as Rangwali Holi.  This is a day to welcome spring and rejoice in the streets with music & dancing and by showering friends, family and strangers alike with colored powders known as Gulal!  Vibrantly colored water balloons and water guns are also commonly splashed about! 

Symbolism of Colors

The brightly colored gulal powders thrown about reflect the new emerging colors of spring!  While many people throw colors just for fun, others choose colors by their significance in the Hindu religion.  Here are a few colors frequently associated with Holi and what they symbolize.

  • RED symbolizes love, matrimony and fertility
  • SAFFRON is a sacred color of fire and purity. It's worn by those who are on a quest to seek light.
  • ORANGE represents the Sun and new day dawning
  • YELLOW symbolizes health and happiness as it represents Turmeric, a plant of natural healing
  • GREEN symbolizes life, new beginnings & harvest
  • BLUE represents Krishna, the Hindu God of compassion and love
  • PURPLE represents wisdom, peace and unity with God
  • WHITE is a blend of all colors and a blend of all of their meanings.  It also suggests purity, clarity and enlightenment. 

How to Celebrate Holi

If you can't make it to India to join the festivities, here are a few ways to create your own Holi festival with friends and family at home!

How to Decorate for Holi

To decorate your home for Holi, just add vibrant colors from floor to ceiling!

Flower Garlands are another vibrant way to welcome spring!
Colorful pinwheels, streamers and banners are a simple way to add some colorful pops!
Set your dining table with colorful napkins to celebrate the arrival of spring!
Spring scented incense sticks can add a whole new ambiance to your celebration.
Colorful Indian couch or floor pillows can brighten up a room and set a cozy mood for relaxation!
Fresh flowers or silk flower petals add vibrant color and are great reminders of spring!
Colorful Henna Candles & Lanterns are a simple way to create a middle eastern mindset!

Hosting a Color Throwing Party

Here are a few essentials for a fun filled Holi!

To celebrate with traditional colored powder:

What is Holi Powder Made Of?

While each manufacturing practice can differ, Holi power is traditionally comprised of corn starch or rice powder, water and some form of food coloring.  Coloring can be made from natural ingredients, food coloring or synthetic dyes.  To minimize health and enviornmental risk, we recommed choosing powers with natural coloring like ones we've linked to above! 

What should you wear to a color throwing party?

While the most fun color to wear is white, you can also wear tye-die or something colorful.  While colored powder made from natural dyes often comes out of your clothes with just water or in 1-2 washes, we recommend wearing anything you're willing to part with!  For shoes, consider wearing flip flops, rain boots or going barefoot if you don't want to stain your sneakers!  If you'd prefer to minimize the amount of powder you breathe in, wear a breathable mask that covers your nose and mouth!

How does Holi powder wash out of skin, hair and clothing?

While every Holi powder manufacturer is different, we've found that the powders we've linked to above wash off easily with water.  People with lighter colored hair may need a few washes to get all of the color out of their hair.
 
We highly recommend avoiding Holi powders made with synthetic dyes as they are more likely to cause skin irritation and permanent staining on clothing.

How to clean up your outdoor venue after a color throwing party

If you're hosting a small party, there might not be much clean up needed!  If an excess of color is left about, sweep everything you can away with a broom, leaf blower or vacuum.  The remaining color can be washed away with sprinklers, by hose or just waiting until the next rainfall!  As most color spillage tends to accumulate near where your color stations are, laying a waterproof tarp under the color station table may make it easier to broom or vacuum up the excess power at the end!

Outdoor Fun Without Colored Powder:

Fun and colorful activities for toddlers that help welcome spring!

Bubble Machines can create a fun party atmosphere with little hastle and less mess!

Colorful Bubble Wands are a way to make big fun and celebrate spring!
Colorful water beads are a great sensory experience for toddlers ages 3 and up! Fill up a water table or outdoor pool and challenge your kids to sort by colors or make a fun design!
Water blasters are a fun alternative to water guns for little ones.  Fill buckets with colored water to join in the festival of colors!

Traditional Foods for Holi

Holi is a time to enjoy fresh spring foods that awaken your sense of taste! 

Malpua

Malpua are flavor kissed fried pancakes made with sugar, fennel and cardamom and in some cases banana. Topped with a sugary syrup, they’re a sweet and flavorful way to welcome spring!

Gujiyas

A sweet coconut & mixed nut filled dessert wrapped in fried dough and topped with a simple sugar sauce.

Thandai

A refreshingly cool drink made with milk and fruits, Thandai is a popular beverage to serve on Holi.

Holi Music Playlists

Jam out to Bollywood classics or choose your mood with one of these playlists while you're eating, crafting or celebrating in the streets!

What to Watch on Holi

As Holi is a joyous time, we recommend lighthearted films with uplifting endings.  Comedies and movies that celebrate the beauty of spring or the power of love and forgiveness are all fair game!  A few ideas below:

The Origin Story of Holi

How Holi is Celebrated in India

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017)

A light hearted Bollywood comedy with a Holi scene. Toilet is the story about a woman who leaves her husband on the first day of marriage after discovering his home doesn't have a toilet. Stream with English subtitles on Netflix. 

Holi Colorful Crafts & Activities

If you prefer less of a mess, here are a few other ways to celebrate the colors of spring!

Water Marbling Art is a fun and hypnotic way to get creative with color!

Spin Art is simple to make and abundantly colorful!
Get sculpting with rainbow colored Kinetic Sand! It's a fun tactile experience with little to no mess. 
Decorate a colorful Sand Art sculpture to ring in spring!

Tie-dye your shirts, hats, shoes or shorts to celebrate the colors of spring! 

Enjoy a book about the festival of Holi!
Make colorful handprints or paint your own flowers with washable paint!
Build a colorful spring terrarium!

Holi Hai!

We hope the Holi experience helps lift your stress and joins you together with friends and family!  It's time to grow and blossom.  SPRING IS HERE!! 

Share This Celebration with a Friend!

Find More to Celebrate!

We're just getting started!  More celebration guides are on the way.  Sign up for our email list to receive party guides in your inbox!

How to Celebrate Easter

The Kentucky Derby

Cinco de Mayo

Holi - the Hindu Festival of Colors

Simple Corned Beef and Cabbage Mac and Cheese

St Patrick's Day

New Year's Day

New Year's Eve

Groundhog Day

Valentine's Day

Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)


Corned Beef and Cabbage Mac and Cheese Irish St. Patrick's Day Recipe Idea

Simple Corned Beef and Cabbage Mac and Cheese

Corned Beef and Cabbage Mac and Cheese Irish St. Patrick's Day Recipe Idea

INGREDIENTS:

COOKING SUPPLIES:

  • Pot
  • Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Bowl
 

A Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe that College Kids & Toddlers will Enjoy

If you're looking for something simple to make after a few rounds of Guinness this St. Paddy's day, this no bake recipe might be the meal for you!  Just add some shredded corned beef and cabbage to your macaroni and cheese to give it a traditional Irish twist.  If mac and cheese isn't your thing, try our Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage Quesadillas!

1. Follow directions on the mac & cheese box and bring water to a boil.

2. Add shredded cabbage & pasta to the boiling water and cook until pasta is desired hardness.

3. Drain the pot and add milk and powdered cheese as directed on the box.

4. Add shredded corned beef on top or mix it in with the cabbage.  You can also add additional Irish Swiss cheese on top if desired.  Serve & Enjoy!
Party Theme Guide's mission is to simplify the process of party planning so that families & friends can host BETTER parties in LESS time! 

We curate our recipes & product recommendations based on their simplicity, visual presentation, public feedback & relevance to each party theme. 

Our recipe summaries aim to give an overview of the original recipe with additional details we feel may simplify or enhance the process; based on reading reviews and/or our own experiences.  As an Amazon Associate we earn nominal commissions from qualifying purchases.  We chose Amazon due to their wide range of products and their ability to quickly, simply & reliability deliver goods to the last minute planners out there!

We hope our party planning guides inspire you to find something to celebrate! 

ST. PADDY'S DAY PARTY GUIDE

Check out our ultimate guide on HOW TO CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK'S DAY for more recipes, music playlists, games, activities, decorations, movie ideas & beyond!

More St. Paddy's Recipes:

Irish Flag Cinnamon Bun Breakfast Rolls

Irish Flag Veggie Party Platter

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage Quesadilla

Magical Gold Pistachio Pudding

Green Pesto Chicken in Spinach Fettuccine

Magical Rainbow Fruit Plate

Lucky St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Milk

Lime Sherbet St. Paddy's Day Punch

Irish Flag Fruit Parfait

6 Rainbow Pancake Breakfast Ideas

Lucky Charm Filled St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Lucky Green St. Patrick's Day Pancakes


St Patrick's Day

HOW TO CELEBRATE

ST. PATRICK'S DAY

WHEN IS ST PATRICK’S DAY?

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17th.

WHAT IS ST. PATRICK'S DAY?

While the origin of St. Patrick’s Day was to honor St. Patrick; a patron Saint of Ireland credited with driving out paganism, and growing Christianity in Ireland, the holiday is now widely recognized as a secular holiday celebrating Irish culture, Irish folklore and drinking!

HOW TO DECORATE FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

GREEN is the color most closely associated with St. Patrick’s day; as it relates to the lush green rolling hills of Ireland, the Emerald Isle.  GOLD is used to widely in connection to mythic folklore of finding a leprechaun’s pot of gold.  ORANGE is commonly used in celebration as it’s one of the three colors of the Irish flag; Green, White and Orange. It also represents the red hair of the Irish people.

Below are some symbols synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day and their significance in Irish Folklore.

SHAMROCKS

Why are Shamrocks and 3 Leaf Clovers associated with St. Patrick's Day?

It’s rumored that St. Patrick used Shamarocks; more commonly known as Three Leaved Clovers as a symbol of the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

LEPRECHAUNS, RAINBOWS & POTS OF GOLD

Why are pots of gold associated with St. Patrick's Day?

Irish Folklore has it that Leprechauns were mischievous and tricky little elf like creatures that cobbled shoes for fairies.  Fairies paid the Leprechauns with gold coins which they kept in a large pot at the end of the rainbow!  As we all know a rainbow has no end, the only “real” way get rich is to catch a leprechaun so it can lead you to it’s pot of gold!

WHAT TO EAT ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY

As St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture, here are a few popular Irish staples and fun colorful treats.

Irish Cottage Meat & Potato Pie

Cottage Pie is a delicious combination of meat and potatoes; two well known staples of Irish & British foods. This deliciously filling meal is both…

Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Milk

Mix 8oz of milk with 4 drops of green food coloring for a super simple St. Paddy's Day treat.

Irish Flag Veggie Party Platter

Raw vegetable trays can make for a great St. Paddy's Day appetizer or post dinner palate cleanser.  See our list of green and orange veggies to pair…

Gujiyas

A sweet coconut & mixed nut filled dessert wrapped in fried dough and topped with a simple sugar sauce.

Lime Sherbet St. Paddy’s Day Punch

A fun and fruity green St. Patrick's Day treat made from Ginger Ale, Pineapple Juice, Kool-Aid, Water & Lime Sherbet.

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage Quesadilla

A super quick and easy corned beef and cabbage recipe to enjoy for St. Patrick's Day! This green food idea is a fun Irish Mexican fusion that's kid…

Malpua

Malpua are flavor kissed fried pancakes made with sugar, fennel and cardamom and in some cases banana. Topped with a sugary syrup, they're a sweet…

Lucky Charm Filled St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

Dessert cupcakes filled with a St. Patrick's Day surprise! Simple instructions on how to bake Lucky Charms into the center of your cupcake!

Irish Flag Cinnamon Bun Breakfast Rolls

How to make cinnamon buns with Irish Flag icing for St. Patrick's Day Breakfast!

6 Rainbow Pancake Breakfast Ideas

Make a stack of rainbow pancakes or a mini rainbow pancake skewer for a fun and festive St. Patrick's Day breakfast treat!

Magical Gold Pistachio Pudding

When it comes to easy St. Paddy’s Day recipe ideas, this no bake sweet treat is a family favorite. While it might not be an Irish staple, my toddler…

ST. PATRICK'S DAY DRINK MENU IDEAS

The tradition of drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day is rumored to have started in New York City.  With a large migration of Irish to NY after the potato famine in the mid 1800’s, the number of spectators of for NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade grew dramatically.  Nostalgic for home, the Irish spectators gathered at the pub after the parade and the tradition of the drinking holiday was set in motion!

WHAT ARE THE BEST BEERS FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY?

ICONIC IRISH BEERS IN AGE ORDER:

 

St. Patrick's Day (Kid Friendly) Mocktails

For Adults 21+, add one serving of an alcoholic beverage to turn these recipes into cocktails!

Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Milk

Mix 8oz of milk with 4 drops of green food coloring for a super simple St. Paddy's Day treat.

Lime Sherbet St. Paddy’s Day Punch

A fun and fruity green St. Patrick's Day treat made from Ginger Ale, Pineapple Juice, Kool-Aid, Water & Lime Sherbet.

GAMES & ACTIVITIES

St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Decorating

Simple steps on how to have fun decorating your St. Patrick's day cookies…

St. Patrick’s Day Sorry! with Lucky Charms

A super simple twist on the game of Sorry! Just substitute the colored…

Competitive Lucky Charms Marshmallow Hunt

How quickly can you gather 5 of each Lucky Charms marshmallow from a big…

Hunt for the Leprechaun’s Gold

Follow the leprechaun prints to see if they'll lead you to his pot of gold…

St. Patrick’s Day CANDYLAND with Lucky Charms

A fun St. Patrick's Day twist on the game of Candyland! All you need is a…

Luck of the Irish Treasure Hunt

See if you have the Luck of the Irish with a St. Patrick's Day morning…

Liar’s Dice

A bluffing dice game once played by sailors and pirates, Liar's Dice takes…

GREAT ST. PATRICK'S DAY MUSIC PLAYLISTS

Enjoy these perfect playlists as background music throughout the day, or for your St. Patrick's day party or dinner!

ST. PATRICK'S DAY MOVIE WATCHLIST

WHAT TO WATCH ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Darby O’Gill and the Little People is an early Walt Disney St. Patrick’s Day classic that’s credited for popularization the association of Leprechauns with St. Patrick’s Day.

STREAM IT HERE

Luck of the Irish – a 2001 Disney Channel made for TV comedy thriller about a high school basketball player on the hunt to find his lucky charm.

STREAM IT HERE

Leap Year – a 2010 Romantic Comedy starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode set in Ireland.

STREAM FOR FREE

HOW TO DRESS FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Why do people wear green on St. Patrick's Day?

While many people wear green to represent the natural green beauty of Ireland, folklore also rumors that wearing green will make your invisible to leprechauns therefore making it easier to sneak up and catch them so that they can bring you to their pot of gold!

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARTY FAVORS

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

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New Year's Day

HOW TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR'S DAY

WHEN IS NEW YEAR’S DAY CELEBRATED?

January 1st

2023

Sunday January 1st, 2023

2024

Tuesday January 1st, 2024

2025

Wednesday January 1st, 2025

THE HISTORY OF NEW YEAR'S DAY

New Year’s Day is commonly a quiet day spent with family.  While New Year’s Eve is the larger celebration, New Year’s day is a great day to sleep in, relax, get cozy and start practicing your New Year’s resolutions!


New Year's Eve

HOW TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR'S EVE

WHEN IS NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATED?

December 31st

New Year’s Eve is a time to get together with friends and family to say goodbye to the year that’s passing and welcome the start of the new year.  New Year’s Eve parties are commonly celebrated with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, with decor and attire flaunting sequins and sparkles to match radiance of the infamous ball that drops in Time Square during the last minute of the old year, reaching the new year at midnight.  For all of those that choose to watch the Time Square ball descend, it’s customary to count aloud the final seconds of the year from 10 to 1 then throw confetti, ring bells, make noise and kiss the ones you love at midnight to ring in the start of the New Year.


Groundhog Day

HOW TO CELEBRATE GROUNDHOG DAY

WHEN IS GROUND HOG DAY CELEBRATED?

February 2nd

Groundhog Day is a US Holiday celebrated annually on February 2nd.  If the groundhog sees its shadow, it’s believed we’ll get 6 more weeks of winter.


Valentine's Day

HOW TO CELEBRATE VALENTINE'S DAY

WHEN IS VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATED?

February 14th

2022

Monday February 14th, 2022

2023

Tuesday February 14th, 2023

2024

Wednesday February 14th, 2024

THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine’s Day is a day to acknowledge the affection you have for your friends, family and people you love.  For couples, it’s a day to celebrate romance.  Treat yourself and those you love with compliments, cards, sweets and romantic and surprising gestures.


Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)

HOW TO CELEBRATE CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR

WHEN IS CHINESE (LUNAR) NEW YEAR 2021?

2021 IS THE YEAR OF THE OX

FEB 11, 2021   –   CHINESE NEW YEARS EVE

A time to gather with family, enjoy an abundance of superstitious foods at Reunion Dinner and stay up past midnight to watch the fireworks extravaganza!

FEB 12, 2021   –   CHINESE NEW YEARS DAY

A day to enjoy fireworks, family time and offer sacrifices to ancestors

FEB 12 – 22, 2021  –  SPRING FESTIVAL

A time to visit with relatives and friends, play games and enjoying great spring foods

FEB 23 – 26, 2021   –   LANTERN FESTIVAL

A time to enjoy nature, gaze at the moon, light lanterns and send fireworks and lanterns up to the moon in the sky.  Families traditionally gather for one big final celebration meal.

HOLIDAY SUMMARY:

An extravagant 15 day celebration rooted in thousands of years of traditions and superstitions, The Chinese New Year is all about warding off evil and creating luck, prosperity and good fortune for the New Year.  Also known as Lunar New Year, the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival, the celebration incorporates beautiful art, amazing food and time to exercise the mind and spirit.

While there are thousands of traditions honored during the festival, here are a few simple ways you can celebrate at home!

HOW TO DECORATE FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR

Fill your home with an abundance of the color RED which is believed to scare away evil.  The color GOLD is also widely used as it’s believed to invite wealth into your home.

CHINESE NEW YEAR RED LANTERNS

An abundance of hanging red lanterns symbolize booming life and prosperous business in Chinese culture.  Lanterns are hung up in homes, businesses and throughout most cities on (or prior to) Chinese New Year’s Eve and remain hanging through the spring Lantern Festival; the 15th and final day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

For a fun challenge, many families and businesses attach riddles to their lanterns for friends and family to ponder and solve. Here are a few KIDS RIDDLES and some more CHALLENGING RIDDLES FOR ADULTS.

LANTERNS ON AMAZON:

CHINESE NEW YEAR DOOR COUPLETS

Doorways are decorated with poetic wishes for the new year; written on two parallel vertical scrolls of red paper with gold or black ink.  The scrolls must be equal length and express two separate thoughts using an identical sentence structure.

For example:

  • “A wide sea lets fish jump; a high sky lets birds fly.”
  • “Distance tests a horse’s strength; time reveals a person’s heart.”

On top of the door centered between the scrolls is often a third small horizontal scroll which states the title of the poem. The title of the poem and must be exactly 4 characters (or words) long.

Have fun creating your own poetry around the house or decorate with pre-made scrolls.

DOOR COUPLETS ON AMAZON:

DINING TABLE DECOR

A great deal of thought goes into decorating the dinner table for family gatherings during the Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner and Lantern Festival.  Decorative items are chosen for their symbolism in attracting good fortune, health and prosperity for the coming year.  RED is incorporated to keep evil away and GOLD is used to attract wealth.  These colors can be incorporated into floral decor, confetti, table toppers, table cloths, table runners, placemats, cups and utensils.

SHOP DINING TABLE DECOR:

WHAT TO EAT FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Years Eve, Chinese New Years Day and the Lantern Festival are three big days that reunite extended family over traditional meals filled with superstitions and meaning.  While there are hundreds of customary cuisines served across the country with various religions roots, below are a few common dishes along with their symbolism:

A WHOLE FISH – is a Chinese New Year’s Eve staple.  The fish welcomes prosperity and abundance into the coming year.  When serving the fish, make sure the eyes are gazing toward guests that are your elders as a sign of respect.  Only the the middle portion of the fish is eaten on CNYE.  Save the head and tail as a symbol of surplus to be enjoyed on New Year’s Day.

DUMPLINGS – signify wealth as the shape resembles an ancient Chinese coin. Families typically prepare hand made dumplings together on New Year’s Eve symbolizing wrapping up the old year.  The dumplings are eaten together after midnight to ring in the new year!  Eat carefully – some families honor the tradition of hiding a coin in one dumpling.  It’s superstition that whoever receives the hidden coin will enjoy a prosperous year!

SPRING ROLLS – symbolize wealth and prosperity as their shape and color loosely resemble gold bars.  To properly  celebrate the season rolling into spring, stuff each roll with the freshest spring ingredients you can find.

LONG NOODLES – represent long life!  Extra long noodles are eaten on this holiday to increase longevity.

ROUND FRUITS – celebrate the moon.  Fruits in the orange family like tangerines and clementines are commonly associated with wealth due to their golden color.  The Chinese word for orange is structurally similar to the Chinese words for “success” and “luck” which make them extra popular this time of year.

GAMES & ACTIVITIES

The week long national holiday is a wonderful time to gather with family and play games.  Here are a few popular traditions and activities.

EXCHANGING OF RED ENVELOPES  紅包, (hóngbāo)

Perhaps THE MOST POPULAR TRADITION is to stuff red and gold envelopes with money and gift them to friends and family as a symbol of prosperity.  If you can’t meet in person, mailing these ornately decorated envelopes to loved ones is sure to bring a smile!  When gifting the envelope, be sure to also share a wish of good fortune or piece of wisdom for the New Year.

 

SHOP RED ENVELOPES ON AMAZON:

POPULAR CHINESE BOARD GAMES

MAH JONG (麻將 Májiàng)

How to play Mah Jong

The most widely played game during the Chinese New Year celebration, Mah Jong is a tile based strategy game for 2-4 players.

CHINESE CHESS

How to play Chinese Chess

CHINESE CHESS is a long game between two players involving strategy.  Here’s how to play!

SCRATCHABLE FORTUNE CARDS

Scratchable fortune cards are a fun way to predict your fortune for the year ahead.  Remember to use a lucky coin! Extra luck if it’s gold.  To celebrate during COVID you can mail some to friends and family or have the family scratch a new card for every day of the celebration.

 

SHOP FORTUNE CARDS ON AMAZON:

HOME PHOTO BOOTH SELFIES

Buy or create a fun backdrop to decorate your home and send Chinese New Year Selfies to your friends and family!

 

SHOP PHOTO BOOTH ACCESSORIES ON AMAZON:

CHILDREN'S LEARNING ACTIVITIES

SPRING FESTIVAL MUSIC PLAYLISTS

Enjoy these Chinese Lunar New Year musical playlists with your meals or keep them going as background ambiance music through the holiday.

64 songs (4hr 16min) – Celebratory songs by artists across the various regions of China

24 Songs (2hrs 10min) Upbeat Chinese Orchestral Songs Celebrating the Spring Festival

18 songs (1hr 14min) Traditional and mellow music from China

WHAT TO WATCH FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR

While CCTV’s NEW YEAR’S / SPRING FESTIVAL GALA is the premiere event of the season; showcasing China’s best and brightest talent in an over the top talent show, here are a few additional ways to celebrate the culture of China.

WATCH THE OFFICIAL 2021 CCTV NEW YEAR GALA ON YOUTUBE

A romantic Chinese New Year comedy about the three Shang brothers

A martial arts comedy about the misadventures of two friend’s failed attempt at to joining a Deadly Axe Gang.

WHAT TO WEAR FOR CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is a time to wear RED! The significance of the color red is to scare away spirits of evil and bad fortune.  Bright and lively colors are also welcome but stay away from black and white as they invite death.

On Chinese New Year’s Day, it’s tradition to be covered from head to toe in brand new never before worn clothing and accessories.  This includes new jewelry and  YES, new undergarments!

While some people enjoy wearing traditional Tang Suits, many wear modern western clothing as well.

CLOTHING INSPIRATION ON AMAZON:

PARTY FAVORS

While red envelopes are the most traditional party favor, for those who are looking to celebrate a Lunar New Year or Spring Festival themed shower, party or event, here are a few additional party favors.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

HOW IS THE START OF CHINESE NEW YEAR DETERMINED?

The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar New Year (which typically falls sometime between January 21st and February 20th each year on the Gregorian calendar).  The exact start date is determined by beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice (December 21st).  The celebration spans over two weeks long; staring with Chinese New Year’s Eve and ending with the Lantern Festival on day 15.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR?

Roughly 1/6th of the world’s population celebrate Chinese New Year with over 3 billion people migrating to their home towns to be with family; making it the world’s largest annual human migration.