On January 31, residents of Chinatowns from coast to coast – as well as Chinese populations around the world – will hit the streets in celebration of the New Year. The holiday, also known as Spring Festival, marks the first day of the year on the Chinese calendar and is a time when families gather in celebration of their ancestors and the gods alike.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll look at this as a learning opportunity – and, of course, a reason to host a party. Follow our festive advice for an authentic Year of the Horse fete. Don’t have lion dancers on speed dial? We’ll let that slide.

Chinese New Year Party Ideas

Set the table with chopsticks. Serve up homemade dumplings – boiled, not fried or steamed – with traditional Chinese dipping sauces.

Make your own Spring Festival cocktail. Head to your local Asian market and pick up a Chinese beer (Tsingtao is popular). Combine equal parts beer, prosecco, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

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January 26, 2014