Gong hei fat choy! It’s Lunar New Year, which means it’s time for a week full of festive celebrations. From firecrackers to lion dances, red packets stuffed with money and copious dumplings, Lunar New Year is a time to drum up all the age-old traditions and welcome a few new ones, too.
But the best part of the Spring Festival isn’t the treats or spectacles. It’s the chance to get together with loved ones over a decadent spread of delicious and auspicious dishes. After all, the new year is all about family, friends and food.
Planning to host a dinner party to welcome the Year of The Tiger? Hit the ground running with this quick, easy guide to setting the perfect LNY tablescape, plus a few insights on symbolic decor and traditional dishes.
Set The Tone
Create a clean, soft base that sets a rejuvenating holiday mood and lets your accents shine. We love a timeless yet simple base of gold, natural linen or beige, which lends well to brighter accents. Once you have the foundation, start adding on those celebratory motifs and festive layers. Perhaps start with a bold burgundy table runner and gold-embroidered placemats, then add a few energizing details like decorative chopsticks, candles, red packets – more on that below!
Symbolizing good fortune and joy, red is undoubtedly the signature shade of Lunar New Year. Naturally, any authentic Lunar New Year spread should feature a mix of crimson, burgundy or cherry hues, but we would recommend using the vibrant color as an accent, not the base. For a stylish and sophisticated table spread, start with neutral plates and bowls, like BOMSHBEE’s Tinge Porcelain Collection, then integrate red elements to channel LNY vibes. Tasteful garnet chargers, burgundy candles or scarlet-tipped chopsticks will add a touch of lucky new year energy without overwhelming the room.
Simple, Yet Symbolic
It’s tempting to go big when it comes to holiday table decor, but less is definitely more. Keep it simple while infusing extra meaning with a few tasteful symbolic accents. For example, your centerpiece could feature a few mandarins, oranges, kumquats, or pomelos – all believed to bring good luck and happiness – in a BOMSHBEE Tinge Porcelain Bowl. Meanwhile, flowers like cherry blossoms symbolize new beginnings and fluffy white pussy willow branches represent prosperity. In terms of placement, make sure you keep any centerpieces below eye level or spaced out so that guests can still easily make eye contact while talking.
Taste Of Tradition
Any Lunar New Year dinner table wouldn’t be complete without customary dishes traditionally served every year. These include steamed fish, golden-fried spring rolls, steamed dumplings, springy longevity noodles, and Chinese New Year cake (nian gao in Mandarin or leen goh in Cantonese), a glutinous rice cake that’s believed to bring prosperity in the new year. Try your hand at these dishes for a beautiful, meaningful Lunar New Year dinner to remember.
Lucky No. 8
In Chinese culture, the number eight is associated with wealth and prosperity. To share a little extra luck and fortune with your guests as we race into the Year of the Tiger, keep this number in mind when setting the table. Maybe you invite eight guests, serve eight dishes or set out eight candles for decoration – this tiny detail holds a lot of meaning. Pro tip: the number four is bad luck, so try to avoid this number if you can!
Quality chopsticks are a must for a proper Lunar New Year feast – and BOMSHBEE’s black matte Chop chopsticks are as cool as they come. Just make sure you’ve brushed up on your chopstick etiquette ahead of time. When you’re setting the table, chopsticks should always go at the top of the plate with tips pointing to the left or the right with tips pointing upwards. Never leave your chopsticks sticking upright in your food (it’s believed to bring bad luck, as it relates to incense sticks at funerals) and use a different pair of chopsticks to serve food from sharing platters.