Chinese New Year Celebration // Year of the Horse
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the year of the Horse. It is a year for renewal and growth. The horse is strong and swift, and teaches us to seize the moment!
With the Chinese New Year being right around the corner, I thought the best way to teach my Baby Bear about the traditions and splendor of the occasion was with a Chinese New Year Play Date Party! Thankfully we are only a short ride away to Chinatown, so we ventured off for an afternoon of learning, shopping, eating and plain ole’ mommy and me fun. The following day we decorated the house and had a fun-filled day with all of her buddies!
See how it all came together…
- Event Production: pop! by YAZ
- Venue: Private Residence
- Photography: pop! by YAZ
- Decor + Favors: pop! by YAZ via Pearl River Mart + Chinatown
- Mandarin Dresses: Chinatown
Me and the Baby Bear! We just love having our friends over and dressing up.
Baby Bear and I went shopping in Chinatown and scored by finding these beautiful Mandarin dresses for all of her friends. Upon entry, we surprised them with the choice of a dress for them to wear during the festivities.
My Baby Bear!!!
During Chinese New Year, tangerines and oranges are displayed as decorations and are also exchanged among friends and acquaintances. Sometimes, small trees are kept for this purpose. Fruit is almost always a good Chinese New Year’s gift. Oranges and tangerines are a traditional favorite, though, and can also represent happiness and abundance, as in an abundant harvest. If there are still leaves and a stem attached to the fruit, it also means fertility.
The peony is considered to be the “Flower of Richness and Good Luck” in China. Therefore it is a favorite New Year decoration. I also included a paper dragon with a pearl mouth piece.
Year of the Horse
2014 is the Year of the Horse according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Horse starts from Jan. 31, 2014 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Feb. 18, 2015. I painted the horses gold as it represents happiness and prosperity.
The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of traditional Chinese calendar. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles. People also get together to celebrate the beginning of spring by watching fireworks and eating Yuanxiao (sweet stuffed dumplings made of glutinous rice flour served in soup). The festival officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Street celebrations often include a traditional lion dance which is believed to scare away evil and bring good luck. There are usually two dancers. One acts as the head and the other the body. They dance to a drum, cymbals and a gong. On the head of the lion is mirror so that evil spirits will be frightened away by their own reflections. As the lion runs along the streets he begins to visit different places. On his way he meets another person, the ‘Laughing Buddha’ who is dressed in monk’s robes and a mask. He teases the lion with a fan made of banana-leaves which makes the lion jump around.
Red is a very important color as it represents happiness, purity, celebration, health and luck.
Crafts + Fun
Paper dragons, interpretative lion dances, spontaneous hugs and tons of laughter ensued throughout the afternoon.
Beef Fried Rice
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Chicken Lo Mein
Pink Fortune Cake
When served during Chinese New Year, noodles shouldn’t be cut or broken into pieces. Long noodles represent a nice long life, although eating them could get a little messy.
Chinese dumplings are one of the most important foods in Chinese New Year. They symbolize wealth as their shape is similar to ancient gold or silver ingots.
Mehar showing off her chopstick skills.
Uh oh! Looks like somebody is mean muggin’!!!! She thought she didn’t get a tangerine. No tangerine, no good fortune! YIKES!
Ahaana nibbles on pink Fortune Cake.
Early on New Years Day children receive lucky red packets called ‘Hong Bao’ containing sweets or money.
Their gold take-out boxes included a small change purse, pink chopsticks and a mini doll.
Fortune Cookie // Year of the Horse
Now is the time to implement meaningful changes in our lives. With its wild spirit, the horse longs to roam the land freely. It is a year for bold adventures and enlightening exploration. It’s a good time to travel afar! The Wood Horse can bring you good fortune, new journeys, and a replenished spirit.
Live, love and laughter
Live like the moment pictured. Exuberant, engaged and with all of your heart. Make everyday pop! Let go and LIVE!!!!