Keeping Up with 5 Chinese New Year Traditions

How meeting planners can incorporate festive traditions into their events

The annual Chinese New Year ranks as one of the most highly anticipated festivals for families to gather together, feast and celebrate. Along with that jubilation comes a vast array of age-old festive traditions that symbolize blessings of good fortune for the year ahead.

Held traditionally in either January or February, celebrations kick off several weeks before the actual lunar new year with vivid colors, high-spirited revelry and great exuberance. To keep up with the festive atmosphere during this period, meeting planners can consider implementing the following ideas in their events. 

Roar with Lions

The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance performed on special occasions—especially during Chinese New Year—for good luck. It is believed that the lion is an auspicious animal representative of courage and stability, heralding a positive vibe for the onset of a new year. 

Consider hosting your own lion dance as the key entertainment act with beating drums, clashing cymbals and loud gongs guaranteed to hype up the celebratory atmosphere of the crowd. 

TIP: Take some cues from the Sanya Marriott Hotel in Dadonghai Bay (as seen above) by injecting some LED lights into your event for electrifying dance moves that can provide a modernized take on the traditional lions. 

Toss Your Way to Prosperity

No Chinese New Year festivity is complete without “yusheng” (raw fish salad), a tradition known as “lo hei” (Cantonese for “tossing to great heights”). This colorful platter is comprised of a delicious array of vegetables, raw fish, sauces and condiments to represent auspicious wishes for the new year. It is customary for families and friends to gather to toss the components; the higher you toss, the greater your fortunes will purportedly be.

Get Lucky with Mandarin Oranges

Mandarin oranges feature prominently in Chinese New Year celebrations, as the Chinese words for an orange sound similar to the words for “luck” and “wealth.” Associated with good fortune, the oranges can be used as decorations or as door gifts for delegates. 

Deck the Halls in Red and Gold

There is no better season than Chinese New Year to make use of thematic red and gold colors to fire up your event venue. Marriott’s team of experts can help to provide creative ideas that will customize your event with the festive theme. 

Light up the Skies

Light up your event with a spectacular firecracker and fireworks display. Traditionally for the Chinese New Year, people set off these types of pyrotechnics to ward off misfortune and scare away bad omens. Such a festive show creates a joyful atmosphere for any event and is guaranteed to be extra photogenic, helping attendees remember the occasion long after it ends. 

Double the Happiness 

With Marriott’s Double Up, meeting planners can earn twice as many Marriott Rewards points and a signing bonus of 500 points on eligible catering events and meetings.

To participate, simply book and arrive by March 31, 2018, at participating Marriott Rewards hotels in Asia-Pacific.