For those who don't know: Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, is a 15-day celebration that kicks off this year on the night of Friday, February 16. On the eve of Spring Festival, friends and family gather to enjoy a sumptuous reunion dinner and stay up late to watch the fireworks (an ancient practice designed to scare away the legendary beasts of the previous year).
Whether you're hosting this year, heading to someone else's home to celebrate, or just want to partake in the festivities, consider incorporating one of these easy crafts into the evening.
1. Paper Lanterns
Paper lanterns are a staple of the Spring Festival, with red and gold as the colors of choice to bring luck and prosperity. These, from Handmade Charlotte, were made with bright paper and stencils, proving that nearly anything goes.
Get the directions: How to Make Chinese Paper Lanterns in 4 Easy Steps at Handmade Charlotte
2. Egg Carton Dragon
If you're celebrating with kids, get them working on making their own mini dragons with this project from I Heart Crafty Things that uses upcycled egg cartons as a base. Encourage them to be creative with pipe cleaners, tissue paper, and sequin accents.
Read more: How to Make an Egg Carton Dragon Craft at I Heart Crafty Things
3. Teacup Flower Vases
Our own Christine Gallary shared her Lunar New Year table decor with us: "Since the meal is eaten family-style, there really isn't much room left on the table for decorations or a centerpiece," she says. "My talented childhood friend and florist Heather Lee came up with the cute idea of filling little white tea cups with flowers, choosing bright orange, yellow, and pink as the color scheme." They stayed away from white, which is known as a bad luck color, and scattered the arrangements around the table.
4. Paper Blossom Centerpiece
It may be too early for anything to be blooming in your area, but this craft from Pink Stripey Socks solves that: Create your own cherry blossoms using bare branches and tissue paper.
Get the steps: Paper Blossoms for Chinese New Year at Pink Stripey Socks
5. Chocolate Coin-Filled Envelopes
Part of the tradition is giving ang pao, red envelopes filled with money. This folded-paper take from 1 Dog Woof is easy to pull off and features chocolate coins — a sweet treat for family and friends.
Read more: DIY Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year at 1 Dog Woof