Aside from Christmas, the Lunar New Year is another occasion that always draws the family back together. From Chinese traditions and well-loved cuisine, there is much to enjoy as a family during this holiday!

If you’re in charge of planning this year’s get-together, consider these tips for every stage of the preparation:


What’s a family reunion if only few can make it? Consider the following to get the best attendance:


The fastest way to get the word out is through e-mail, but do try a mix of both since not everyone may be as tech-savvy. Include touches of Chinese New Year icons such as lanterns, dragons and blossoms or even use an Ang Pao to send it out! For a modern touch, opt for matte designs or introduce new colors other than red and gold.


Since this is a family affair, you may choose to split the cost among family members. Create a detailed account of what will be spent, including food, drinks, décor and party favors and divide it by family. If, as the host, you prefer not to collect, your option is to do a potluck party – just be sure to assign specific dishes and headcounts (such as “Chicken Stir-fry good for 10 people”).


Planning a reunion can be a lot of work for one person. Create a committee among your family members or look for suppliers for your food and drinks and décor. is a good place to start!


It’s time to bring out the all-time Chinese favorites! When establishing a menu, it would be good to ask relatives for their preferred dishes. From there, check if there is enough variety (Are you serving a variety of meats? Are soup and vegetables present on the menu?). Finally, allot an allowance versus the number of people attending – ten to fifteen percent is usually enough.

A sit-down dinner works well if you have a banquet table and a group of less than fifteen. But if you’ve invited a bigger crowd, serving dinner buffet-style will make it easier for everyone.


Set the ambience with oriental touches. Key elements that evoke the holiday are Chinese lanterns and the colours gold and red, but you can try adding unexpected twists as well. Try hanging paper umbrellas in place of Chinese lanterns. Use Chinese lanterns as vases for your blossoms. Incorporate bamboos, Chinese takeout boxes and other festive colours like turquoise and fuschia.


Engage your guests in some fun party games or activities. Try a trivia or quiz inspired by family facts to get everyone reminiscing. Or host a movie-night showing Chinese blockbusters.

Don’t forget to send them off with Chinese New Year inspired party favours – fortune cookies and Chinese crackers are classic options, or fill a Chinese take-out box with different goodies.

(Image Credit: Invitations 1, Invitations 2, Food and Drink, Decor 1, Decor 2)