Lunar New Year is a festive & creative excuse to host friends in January and is a holiday rich in symbolism. 2023 is a year of the Rabbit, which represents longevity, prosperity and peace in Chinese culture. This year the actual holiday falls on January 22nd, and 2023 is envisioned to be a year of hope. Who wouldn’t welcome this prediction?
Given the color and animal scheme of this year’s holiday you can count on re-using a number of items for upcoming Valentine’s and springtime celebrations. Adorn your table with everything red. Citrus, traditionally Mandarin oranges, are often present as a symbol of abundance. I’m likely to substitute satsumas as a local touch.
I’ll be leaving food to the experts. Uptown newcomer Miss Shirley’s is not new at all. A rejuvenation from Metairie favorite Royal China the restaurant is now run by mother-daughter team Shirley & Carling Lee Gannon. Carling recommends the following items from their menu for a Chinese New Year table: snow pea leaf dumplings (satchels of money, hope & happiness), crabmeat udon noodles (representing longevity), Tong Chow chicken (for luck), and ginger and scallion pan seared sea bass (for an increase in prosperity). She also reminds us to wish all of our Asian friends a very Happy New Year!
While these beauties are made in Japan, they are still a must for your dim sum. Coutelier, couteliernola.com.
Red envelopes filled with money (or a gold wrapped chocolate coin) are a mainstay at celebrations. While in China these are gifted from grandparents to younger generations, they will add a fun and festive touch to your table. Red Paper Envelopes, Walmart, walmart.com.
While not necessary for the table, twinkle lights are reminiscent of stars and as a runner they remind me of a beautiful night sky. Starlight LED Wire String Lights, Judy at the Rink, judyattherink.com.
It’s the year of the Rabbit. What better time to pull out your favorite Hunt Slonem wares? Hazelnut, hazelnutneworleans.com
Tall red candles are another way to bring luck to your table and celebration. Cedar Stick Tapers in Dark Cherry, Sotre, sotrecollection.com.
This patterned red tablecloth may not be the traditional all red choice, but I love how vibrant the red feels against the other colors. Turquoise and Cranberry Bohemian Floral Tablecloth, Hilltop Shoppe, hilltopshoppe.com.