Happy Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year kicks off on February 19th for a 15 day celebration, ending at the next full moon. I love me a festival, and 15 days of good food, family, fireworks, and dancing dragons is a celebration I'm happy to participate in. According to Chinese traditions this is also a time to thoroughly cleanse the house, sweeping away any ill-fortune to make way for good luck. I'm not much of a Spring cleaner so I'm just going to have to hope that good fortune doesn't mind the clutter that comes with two kids and lots of craft projects. Later this month Chinese New Year celebrations will be taking place in Chinatowns all over the globe.
If you look for any excuse to host a party and you are reading this, I've got a party excuse for you that's as subtle as a Chinese lantern to the face. Host a Chinese New Year party! To get your party preparations started I've got a free Chinese New Year invitation template for you to download! Find the download button at the bottom of this post. It's bright red with blossoms and gold lanterns. The template opens in Word where you can add your party details. The finished size of the invitation is 5 x 7" and fits an A7 envelope. I created a coordinating envelope liner to go with my invitation. I wish I had of known that it's tradition to hand out red envelopes during Chinese New Year as I would have been better off pairing the invitation with a red envelope.
If you print this invitation on regular paper the red will appear very washed out. The trick to getting it vibrant is to print on photo paper. I printed the invitation both ways and the difference is astounding. Definitely use photo paper.
2015 is the year of the sheep. Those born in the year of the sheep are known for their kindness, caring, and politeness. And they love arts! It goes without saying that sheep will then love to make their own invitations, and if you're not born in a sheep year, you can still embrace your inner sheep-ness and get crafty.
Throwing a Chinese New Year party could be as simple as getting your besties together at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Or grabbing Chinese take out and a couple bottles of red for an afternoon of crafting. Nianhua is a form of ancient Chinese woodblock printing, but I'm sure you'll be fine using modern poetic license with stamps, either home made or purchased. Origami (more poetic license) and flower arranging would also be theme appropriate crafts. Or go all out and theme your house for Chinese New Year. Decorate in red and gold, hang lanterns, put out flower arrangements, and prepare a feast. These rainbow spring rolls with peanut ginger dipping sauce from Minimalist Baker look delicious! Most importantly, as with any holiday, quality time spent with family and friends is to be cherished.
So out with the old, in with the new, and here's to a year of good luck, smooth-sailing, good health and wealth... and sheep and crafts.