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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

At-Home Lunar New Year Celebration

Happy Lunar New Year! It's the Year of the Dragon. Those born during the year of the dragon are said to be popular, happy, clever, compassionate, but also over-thinkers. They attract abundance or wealth, and the year is said to bring wealth and good fortune to all. Let's hope that's true, because we can all use a good year. 

We have done a mix of home Lunar New Year celebrations and outside activities this year, and continued with our at-home feast.

We have done a mix of home celebrations and outside activities this year, since more places are doing things. I have loved doing our at-home feast though, so we continued with it this year. 

I used this year as an excuse to buy a new sparkly gold table cover and a fancy dragon table runner, which can be used every year.  It has a lot more color than the usual red and gold, so it goes with everything and gives a bit more interest and depth. I also found these gorgeous plates on sale through Crate & Barrel. They have the sign for "fu" in the middle, which can mean prosperity, fortune, good luck, blessing, or happiness in Chinese.

World Market always has a small, but beautiful Lunar New Year line of products. A few years ago I purchased the tea cups for Year of the Ox, so this year I bought the matching ones with dragons. They had a new line of jade green items, and I picked up the dragon chopstick rests (they also had tea bag holders and jars for your loose-leaf tea). You may recognize the juice glasses I bought another year. While I was there picking up my order, I also grabbed this year's Harney & Sons tea, which is delicious and a set of 3 decorated sugar cookies for dessert. (If you missed out on the chopstick rests, check out this metal set or this wooden set)

Unlike with other destination dates, I didn't order out for this dinner. I actually picked everything up from Trader Joe's (and one thing from Uwajimaya, a local Asian market). They have a wonderful selection of Asian foods of all kinds. I try to do something different each year, but still stick to the traditional foods. 

Our spread included Shrimp Boom Bah, spicy breaded shrimp with a sweet and spicy dip, chicken egg rolls, garlic noodles, and ube bao (not from TJs), then we had milk tea boba. You can buy the boba kit at TJs. You just open the packet and microwave, then add to your fave beverage for boba. They come with straws, if you don't already have them. There are 4 packets, enough for 4 beverages, but I split one between the two of us, because there are quite a lot in each. 

A staple for a traditional new year table is a whole fish. Well, I am probably never doing that, so instead I snagged this awesome gold fish platter. It was the perfect addition and size for the shrimps and dip. I also found the hammered gold bowl and platter from Home Goods. (You can get something similar on Amazon: platter/tray, serving bowl, soup bowls)

Round foods are abundant on a Lunar New Year table, including mandarins and dumplings, because they resemble coin purses, so I added a plate of mandarins to our spread, and another with some takoyaki puffs. If you find those, they're delicious. I also just tossed some gold coins that I always have on-hand around the table, for a little extra flair and wealth manifestation.

To cap things off, I put up a Lunar New Year garland and some light-up lantern firecrackers, plus we had to have headgear, so I found these funky dragon boppers that "breathe" fire. So fun! (I got mine from Oriental Trading, but these are also fun.)

When the meal came to an end and we were eating cookies, we also did some scratch-off fortunes. I love that they are in the shape of a dragon. 

This is an easy at-home celebration to pull together, whether you have 2 of you or 10 of you. It's also affordable, especially if you use things you already have around the house. You can see my last Lunar New Year celebration where I used more of my own things or our 2021 celebration that was a little more involved.

I hope you have a year full of happiness and good health. Follow me on Instagram for more celebration pics and tips. What's your favorite non-American holiday to celebrate? 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may be monetarily compensated. It's free to you to do so, and it helps me keep this blog running, to bring you more useful travel tips.

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