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BellaOnline's Chinese Culture Editor

Fun Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Years

Chinese New Years is about friends and families. Even if you're not Chinese, you can still enjoy the festivities of this holiday. Here are some neat ideas that you can do with your friends and loved one during this weekend to enjoy Chinese New Years!

Throw a Pot Luck Dinner
This is probably the simplest way and excuse to get everyone together. Chinese New Years is all about food! Lots and lots of food! So throw a pot luck dinner. Have everyone that comes bring a dish, be it their favorite Chinese or American dish.

If you're into themes, give them some topics to select from and let your guests try to pick what each person's theme was. Some ideas on themes:

Dumpling cooking party
One of my favorite memories as a child during this time of year is the dumpling making marathons that my family would go through. We'd all sit around the table, from youngsters to grandparents, and make dumplings. Dumplings are very simple to put together and you can be as creative as you like. Simple get some ground meat and the dumpling wraps. Put a small spoonful of meat in the middle and then crimp the edges together.

Dumplings are great to serve around this time because the Chinese believed they looked like little money purses. So by making and eating dumplings, you are wishing for a prosperous year.

If dumplings aren't your thing, make this an excuse to make anything together: meatballs, egg rolls, cookies, whatever catches your fancy!

Exchange cards
Just like the western Christmas, this is a time to give gifts. Most of the time the gifts come in red envelops with money inside. Money is often exchanged from adults to children or to their elderly, non-working elders.

Of course, you don't need to exchange money to still give people red envelopes. As with most holidays, the card industry has picked up on the idea of celebrating this holiday and there are some wonderful Chinese New Years cards that can be found. There are a variety of online websites where you can send e-Cards to people. And you can always make cards for your friends just by making sure you include red paper.

One of the most comical parts about Chinese New Years occurs during the lantern festival at the end. During this time people make up poems and riddles to exchange and solve with one another. Have everyone make up a few and get everyone to try to guess what you're trying to say!

Arts and crafts!
With almost any Chinese holiday is the opportunity for arts and crafts. In this holiday, there are many arts and crafts projects you can pick up and enjoy:

Chinese New Years is a wonderful time of the year! There are many things you can do to enjoy this season and I hope you now have some new ideas on how to share and celebrate.

Have other ideas? Come visit our forums and post them for all to read!

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