Chinese New Year Decorations and Food
“As at all Chinese festivals, food plays an important role throughout the Chinese New Year Festival, and dinners tend to be especially lavish. Many of the dishes made at this time are served because they are regarded as symbols of good luck. For instance, fish (yu) represent “having enough to spare,” garlic chives (chiu-tsai) stand for “everlasting,” turnips (tsai tou) mean “good omens,” and fish balls (yu-wan) and meat balls (jou-wan) represent “reunion.” Auspicious refreshments are also prepared at this time, such as glutinous rice flour pudding (nien-kao), which is said to make people “advance toward higher positions and prosperity step by step.” People from northern China usually have dumplings (shui-chiao) too, which look like shoe-shaped gold and are supposed to help those who eat them to amass fortunes and wealth. ” From Taiwanese Website
Write happy wishes on red paper and hang them on the walls. Try out writing two line poems (couplets) for these.
Flowers symbolise wealth and a good career. Make paper flowers and decorate twigs with paper blossoms to put around the house.
Oranges and Tangerines (including a lai see, red envelope with money when brought as a gift) will bring much happiness.
“The candy tray arranged in either a circle or octagon is called “The Tray of Togetherness” and has a dazzling array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. After taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults places a red envelope (lai see) on the center compartment of the tray. Each item represents some kind of good fortune. “
* Candied melon – growth and good health
* Red melon seed – dyed red to symbolize joy,happiness, truth and sincerity
* Lychee nut – strong family relationships
* Cumquat – prosperity (gold)
* Coconut – togetherness
* Peanuts – long life
* Longnan – many good sons
* Lotus seed – many children
Taken directly from Chinese New Year Site
It would be fun to make all these items and maybe even make and decorate a tray, using small pots or papier mache.
The basis for most of these ideas can be found at Chinese New Year. I couldn’t find a contact link to thank them, but hope this acknowledgement will do!