Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

Today, January 26th, is the Chinese New Year and the first day of the Year of the Ox.

My husband is half Chinese so I've been wanting to host a Chinese New Year party for years. I took a Chinese cooking class a few years ago and thought it would be so fun to throw a huge dinner party with tons of authentic food and decorations. Ah, sounds like fun, but it also sounds like hours upon hours of work and I just didn't have it in me after the whirlwind we called the holidays this year. So, instead of a big party at home we opted for a 10-course Chinese dinner for 10 at a fabulous restaurant in Seattle's International District (Sea Garden for all you Seattleites). We all sat at one huge round table with a lazy susan in the middle. The food was fantastic and everyone ate and drank to their hearts content.
I love an excuse to get creative so I made some cute menus and place cards with a Chinese image of an ox. I also gave the traditional red envelope with a brand new dollar bill to each person for good luck. I clearly should have done my homework before the party because you are supposed to give an even number of bills. OOPS. Had I had more time I would have also done some custom fortune cookies with funny fortunes inside. I also wanted to get everyone's birthday and print up something with their Chinese zodiac sign and characteristics but time got away from me. Next time.

We did this style dinner once before to celebrate my sister's marriage (read more about it and the menu here). It is such a fantastic way to celebrate with friends or family. We will most definitely do it again.

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