I love Chinese culture and Chinese food. So I wanted to encourage you all to celebrate Chinese New Year, which tonight brings in the year of the Goat. With it being the middle of the month, money is tight, so I’ve listed below a few cheap and easy ways you can celebrate Chinese New Year at home.
Cook & Eat Traditional Chinese Food
I would be massively impressed if you were to make your own Chinese Food from scratch. In fact I would applaud you. But if like me your rubbish in the kitchen, then just pop along to your local supermarket and pick up some Chinese treats. Asda have a great selection of Chinese New Year treats on special offer, including starters, mains, sides and even Chinese Beers to really get you in the swing of things, click here to have browse.
A few foodie Tips, on this occasion different foods have different meanings, so get in some red chilies to bring you Good Luck whilst rice ensures harmony. At New Year, it’s normally tradition for small animals like fish or chicken to be served. If you do fancy making your own Chinese food, give Spring Roils a go; now these I have actually made and once you have all the ingredients they are really easy to make – and fun!
Let off Fireworks
Got any fireworks left from November? Or perhaps from New Years? Why not have a little Chinese New Year Firework Display then? In China it is thought that the loud noises and bangs of fireworks scare away the bad spirits, preventing them from bringing any Bad Luck into the New Year. It’s tradition for these fireworks to go off at Midnight (although maybe warn your Neighbours).
Burn Incense Sticks
I love Incense Sticks, they smell beautiful! In China it is tradition to go to a temple on New Year and light an incense stick for Luck. You may not have a Chinese Temple on your doorstep, but it’s always worth lighting an Incense stick at home and wishing hard for some of your own Good Luck to come knocking. Plus, your home will smell so lovely.
Gift each other
Another Chinese New Year tradition is for the adults to gift their children with a red envelope of money. Why not invite some friends round and do the same? Or you could do it with your partner or your family. You could either do cash or vouchers. Or if you want to keep it cheap you could do cute ‘I O U notes’ and see who can come up with the most creative. You could even do it Secret Santa style so everyone gets just one envelope.
Make your own Chinese Lantern
Of course you can buy Chinese Lanterns in shops, but wouldn’t it be fun to make your own? If you have children this is something you could do with them to help them learn about Chinese New Year. Or maybe this is something you and your girlfriends can do whilst guzzling down some wine or Chinese beer? I found a great Chinese Lantern ‘How To’ here.
Clean & Refresh
If you’re not into Chinese food or fireworks or Lanterns, there is still something you can do to see in the Chinese New Year. You can clean. The Chinese New Year is all about fresh beginnings and bringing Good Luck. A way of doing this is cleaning your home; the Chinese see this as getting rid of and wiping away all of the bad luck in your home, and preparing it to welcome in all the brand new luck.
Happy Chinese New Year!