Some Old, Some New for 2022
BY PAT BURNS
Right after the year-end holidays, I’m ready to put away the Christmas decorations room-by-room. At last, a host of trees, lights, gnomes, and personalized holiday cards have all been stored. Ah, there’s not a better way to begin the New Year than with a clean, uncluttered house.
Keeping with simplicity, I chose to celebrate the Lunar New Year for this month’s tablescaping theme. For anyone unfamiliar with the Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) this global celebration has enjoyed a history of about 3,500 years.
Since I’ve traveled quite a bit in Asia and have worked in both Thailand and Vietnam, this tablescaping theme was especially fun for me to create as a remembrance of my unique, wild adventures of being the only Caucasian woman working and living among 11 Asian men. I’ll save that episode for another article.
For my Lunar New Year tablescape, I featured two treasures I acquired from my life in Asia. The exquisite jade chopsticks I purchased while living in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly officially known as Saigon. Displaying this prized jade possession adds a special touch of elegance to the table. While visiting Hong Kong, I found the tiny jade fish chopstick rest set. They are a lovely complement to the chopsticks and complete the table presentation.
Jade is the precious gem generally referred to as “the stone of luck and happiness.” And, after the past couple of pandemic years, I’ll accept all the luck and happiness I can find.
In keeping with my uncluttered theme, I used my Japanese dinnerware and kimono-themed candles for their elegant, simple appearance, even though Japan is one of the few Asian countries that doesn’t celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Red being the official Chinese New Year color, I thought it would be visually pleasing to add a red bonsai tree to the centerpiece. I also like knowing that bonsai trees are intended to bring aspects of nature – balance, harmony, and simplicity – into one’s home or workplace.
Usually, I like to include a recipe for the monthly tablescaping theme but let’s face it, just about every city has at least one really good Chinese restaurant and their food that would be better than anything I could fix myself.
The old me would have tackled fixing cashew chicken with tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce. The new me says; “Hey Siri, call China Moon Restaurant.”
Japan is one of the few countries in East Asia that doesn’t celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the world’s largest celebrations. This major holiday is known by many names (the Spring Festival in Chinese, Seollal in Korean, Tsaagan Sar in Mongolian, Tết in Vietnamese) and is observed in some shape or form by Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia–not to mention the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese diasporas worldwide.
Celebrate Chinese New Year 2022 | Traditions and Things to Do (2022)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pat Burns is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival; a Celebrity Journalist, Film Reporter, the author of Grandparents Rock®. Also, a happy grandmother of four.
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