A Dinner Party For the Chinese New Year

(Source: Genevieve Garruppo/Lonny)
Mark your calendars: Friday signals the start of the Chinese New Year. Like so many Asian-American families, I want to celebrate the occasion with a fun, festive, authentic tabletop fit for family and friends. The only problem? I'm not Chinese. So I turned to a friend for some background on Chinese tradition and created this reunion dinner spread (meant to be eaten on New Year's Eve, or Thursday night) to help you ring in the Year of the Horse in full force—and with a little more style than your average white take-out container and wooden chopsticks.

Click here for a roundup of the products used in this shoot!

For the decor, I sourced inexpensive items (chopstick rests, faux firecrackers, a red horse ornament) from Pearl River and chose papers and dishes that coordinate with a vibrant red color palette. According to Chinese legend, the hue wards off the mythical Nian, a creature that ravaged villages and ate crops at the start of the New Year. It's also thought to bring luck in the New Year.

As for the food, while I’m not skilled enough to pull off making my own long noodles, I do have access to some pretty delicious Chinese take-out here in NYC. I placed an order for a few traditional dishes to symbolize good things ahead, including long noodles and long beans (for—you guessed it—long-evity), crunchy vegetables (which are also meant to scare away the Nian), dumplings (eaten at midnight for prosperity), and almond and fortune cookies to help usher in a sweet life in the year to come.
I am Lonny's Art Director.