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Chinese New Year Celebration: Recipes, Decorations and Gifts

Chinese New Year is on January 23rd. and according to the Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Water Dragon. So we thought it would be fun to share some recipes, decorations and gift ideas with you all this week.

On Monday, we kicked it off with a delicious main dish that was perfect for this Chinese New Year Celebration, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner…Orange Mango Chicken. This dish is a must try…your family will love it!

Then yesterday, I shared the cute and oh so fun…Dragon Cupcakes. They were easy to make and could also be used for a child’s birthday party. Today we are sharing how we put the Chinese New Year Celebration together, complete with a fun project for the kiddos {or even you}, the Dragon Puppet. Everyone gets a surprise in the Party Favors, I’ll be sharing those tomorrow.

We found most of the decorations, except a few that I already had in my stash, at Factory Card Outlet. A simple red plastic tablecloth and gold metallic filler covered the buffet.

The red envelopes with gold on them {see them, laying on the buffet?}, I learned from Steamy Kitchen that the envelopes are for gifts for children. You want to add dollar bills, at least $2 and as much as you want, but always in even numbers, as happiness comes in pairs. I printed out and colored the Dragon Puppet, more on him later.

The little take-out boxes were filled with Fortune Cookies, chop sticks, a fan and napkins to match completed the decorations. I bought Chinese Yo-yos for the Party Favors, but they didn’t fit, so I just added them to the Buffet.

Chinese New Year Recipes

Orange Mango Chicken was not only delicious, it really brightened up the Buffet. Oranges, Mandarin Oranges and other fruit symbolize good health, good fortune and happiness and are an important part of a Chinese New Year Celebration.

We tried our hand at Wonton Soup, Doug even made the Wontons himself. They were pretty easy after we figured out the best way to fold them, Doug made a short video showing you how to make them. We are sharing the recipe over at Pocket Change Gourmet today.

And for a quick side dish, skewers with fresh veggies; broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers and leaf lettuce. The dipping sauce is Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and World Harbors Island Mango Marinade {extra leftover from the Orange Mango Chicken}. I displayed them on a bed of Chow Mein Noodles to add a little texture but also for snacking.

And, here is The Dragon Puppet. I found the pattern over at Craft Jr. and simply printed him out on cardstock paper and used my son’s Prisma colored pencils to color him. I love to color, it’s so relaxing! To make him into a puppet, I simply cut out the head and tail, added a strip of red construction paper about 1 1/2 inches wide, and glued on wooded skewers. And he’s sitting in a bowl with Fried Rice.

I think these would be a perfect activity for the kids to work on too. Even if it’s not for a Chinese New Year Celebration, it will keep them busy for quite awhile.

I’ll be sharing the details on the Party Favors tomorrow, so stay tuned for those. The drinks are orange juice mixed with Sprite, served in a wine glass and garnished with an candied orange slice on a skewer.

Update: Directions for the Party Favors

And for dessert…Dragon Cupcakes! I shared all the instructions on Cupcake Tuesday.

According to Feng Shui Forecast, “the year 2012 holds much promise and may be a major transition in your life. Whether it turns out extremely good, or really bad, will depend on how you ride the mighty Water Dragon!”

Hmmm…what do you think? I hope I can ride the Water Dragon well, so any transition in my life turns out good.

Be sure to come back tomorrow {Thursday} for a fun Chinese New Year Giveaway and the Party Favors!

Steamy Kitchen shares more traditional Chinese New Recipes and ideas, from 2011 and 2012.

Linking to…Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Saturday Night Special, Made by you Monday


  1. What a gorgeous spread! So many tasty looking things – but those dragon cupcakes are fabulous!

    I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
    Have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. Eva Scott says:

    Those cupcakes are ADORBS!!

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