Chinese New Year Party Guide

Freebies & Fun
The party guide helps plan a themed Chinese New Year event with ideas, tips in the food departments, creative crafts, and clever conversation chats, menus, recipes, cookies, cakes and food labels. Free printable games, puzzles, place name cards and coloring pages.


The Chinese New Year is a time of great joy and celebration, not only in China but around the world; a celebration of this magnitude certainly deserves some good music. The ultimate Chinese New Year playlist could include:

Chinese New Year by Nick Chung
Dragon Dance Song (sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Lion Dance Song (sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Year of the Cat by Al Stewart
Year of the Dragon by Wyclef Jean featuring Lauryn Hill
Year of the Dog by The Lonely Sparrows
Wild Horses by Rolling Stones
A Horse With No Name by America
Some of these songs are time-honored classics of Chinese culture. Others are kids’ songs sung and celebrated by Chinese children. Still others are American songs which reference the animals mentioned in the Chinese Zodiac. All of them are sure to entertain and inspire guests at a Chinese New Year party.

Any memorable Chinese New Year celebration also will include a number of great theme-related party supplies. These could include statues and stuffed animals, placed throughout the party area, that represent the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Smaller representations of these animals, everything from carved miniatures to plastic toys, can be placed on the party table, and a paper mache dragon, cat or lion could be used as a ‘roaring’ centerpiece. Creative suggestion: Avoid waiting until the last minute to pick things out or pick them up, no need to add more stress. Everyone does not drink alcohol, be inclusive when planning a get-together and have a choice of drinks that include non-alcoholic opinions. When decorating a room to match a given theme or idea explore not just the horizontal space, but the vertical space as well.

In celebration of Chinese New Year, allow children to participate in making homemade party supplies for Chinese New Year. Chinese New year handmade party supplies will give children an opportunity to express their creative side while learning about a foreign culture. Include dragons, masks, lanterns, paper fans, and Chinese Zodiac wheels in the party supply itinerary. Making a Chinese Zodiac wheels is very simple and tales very little effort. There are twelve Chinese New Year symbols; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese handmade party supplies may reflect the animal of the year in Chinese culture. For example, in 2012, Chinese New year is the year of the dragon. Homemade party supplies to celebrate the year of the dragon include dragon costumes, dragon kites, and dancing dragon.

One of the easiest Chinese New Year party supplies are paper lanterns. Paper lanterns can easily be made and decorate an entire party location. Research various ways to make Chinese lanterns – Chinese lanterns come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forming techniques. Handmade Chinse characters paper strolls are also very simple to make. Take a Chinese character representing a word and paint it on a Chinese paper stroll.


With the increase number of observers it is not hard to celebrate the new year with a Chinese New Year Holiday Cake. Here is a recipe for a traditional cake, known as as nian gao which eating a piece is suppose to improve one’s luck for the new year. To make the cake here is what will be needed on the party supplies list; sweetened coconut, eggs, whole milk, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, fine salt and coconut extract. The main ingredient is sweet rice flour, which is produced from sticky rice grains, as the traditional long grain rice which results in regular rice flour will not produce the desired results. Here is the instructions how to put this together, start with heating the over to 350 degrees, move a rack to the middle. Also prepare a 13 by 9 inch baking dish with butter for later. On a baking sheet lay a single layer of coconut and bake until toasted, should be a golden brown color in about 5 minutes. Mix the eggs, with the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl, using a whisk to make it smooth. Proceed to pour the mixture in the dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated in China as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgivingThanksgiving and traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the Gods of the household and the family ancestors. The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect, because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.

The first day of the Lunar New Year "the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth." On the second day, they pray to their ancestors and the gods. They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well celebrating it as the birthday of all dogs.

The third and fourth days are for the sons-in-laws to pay respect to their parents-in-law.

The fifth day, Po Woo, is when people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day, because it will bring both parties bad luck.

On the sixth to the 10th day, the Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health.

The seventh day, the farmers display produce and make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate. It is considered the birthday of human beings. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.

On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor.

The 10th through the 12th are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner. After the rich celebrations, the 13th day should have simple rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse the system.

The 14th day is spent in preparation to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is held on the 15th night.

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Chinese New Year History, Facts and Educational Resources

Add an educational twist to any birthday party, holiday celebration, or theme party.  Share the history of the Chinese New Year theme to the guests.  Play some free printable educational party games.  Shhh don't tell the kids that they are learning!

The history of the Chinese New Year is too old to be traced back to its origin. Now, popularly referred to as the Spring Festival, there are several theories about how it began. The Beginning of Spring is one, and the first, of twenty-four expressions regarding the changing of the seasons in nature.

One thing that is agreed upon regarding the history of the Chinese New Year is that “Nian” means “year” in Chinese, and it was named after the beast who attacked people on the night before the new year began on the Chinese calendar. It had a very large mouth and was able to swallow many people at once. An old man attempted to subdue the beast, and he ended up riding away on the back of Nian the monster. Before he left, he told people to decorate their windows with red paper creations, because red was the color most feared by the beast. The old man turned out to be an immortal god, and this conquest has been observed over the generations.

The practice of placing red paper decorations in windows to scare away the Nian still exists today, along with blasting fireworks, just in case the monster runs loose once again.

”Guo Nian” means “Survive the Nian.” But today it is interpreted as “Celebrate the Year,” as “guo” has both the meaning of “observe” as well as “pass over.”

Most people today have forgotten the meaning and history behind the Chinese New Year. But they continue their traditions of a colorful, mostly red, celebration of light and sound to add excitement to the beginning of the New Year. When all is said and done, favors given to those guests who were able to attend will both feel appreciated and be reminded of the day whenever they look at that favor. Use unscented candles at a dinner, because the fragrance from the candle may not mix well with the aroma of the food. When all is said and done, favors given to those guests who were able to attend will both feel appreciated and be reminded of the day whenever they look at that favor. The history of Chinese New Year has different interpretations by each person, so use your own judgement. Share these facts with friends at a celebration.
The Party Supplies Hut has more free elementary educational teacher resources for Chinese New Year to use in the classroom for active learning to create lesson plans with trivia questions, games and fun activities.

History of Chinese New Year
More Chinese New Year holiday educational teachers classroom resources: 

Chinese New Year Party Games
Chinese New Year Word Find
Chinese New Year Word Search
Chinese New Year Word Scramble
Chinese New Year Party Ideas
Chinese New Year Party Supplies
Educational Teacher Resources

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