February 24, 2014
A Celebration For The Chinese New Year
Please enjoy this guest blog from Kevin Sharkey.
The Chinese New Year was on Friday, January 31st. This holiday is celebrated for fifteen days, marking the end of the year of the snake and ushering in the year of the horse. The Chinese zodiac is a calendar system that originated in the Han dynasty (206-220BC) and it names each of the years in its 12-year cycle after an animal – the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. I decided to celebrate the Chinese New Year by hosting a dinner at home with some friends from work. On a recent Friday, we enjoyed take-out from Legend, one of my favorite local Chinese restaurants. It just happened to be Valentine’s Day, but Friday the 14th was also the evening of the Chinese Lantern Festival. Check out some of my preparations.
1 A selection of party favors was on hand - fans, wind-up dragons, and Chinese yo-yos.
2 2014 is the year of the Horse. I used these fabric ornaments as napkin holders. I bought them at Pearl River here in New York City.
3 A massive bowl filled with fortune cookies is always a fun way to end the evening.
4 The paper lanterns were installed using 3M removable clear plastic Command Hooks and clear fishing line. The lanterns appear to float in air.
5 This mask was purchased years ago while I was shooting a story in Ojai California. The ceramic dragon is from a souvenir store in New York City.
6 It is so fun to be able to determine which animal you are. I am a monkey.
7 A sample place setting - I used clear glass plates so that it would be easy to read all about the Chinese zodiac on the paper place mat.
8 An evening shot - The light from the chandelier made the lanterns glow.
9 I needed to leave space for platters of food on the table, so I used a glass cake stand to hold a collection of clay bobble-head Foo dogs that I bought in Beijing years ago with Martha.
10 The table was all set and ready for the take-out food to arrive.
11 I had some lanterns left over and decided to hang them in a corner of the living room.
12 They made for a great installation piece.
13 On the sideboard in my living room, I filled 4 tall glass cylinders with quince blossoms. Because the branches have thorns, I made sure that the cylinders and branches were very tall.
14 Close-up of the quince blossom
15 A detail of one of the Foo dogs guarding the quince blossoms
16 I purchased this marble coffee table in Miami a few years ago. It always garners a lot of attention. I added a few stone bonsai this year along with a calligrapher’s brush that I bought in China.
17 Detail of a stone table
18 Party favors
19 Even my bathroom sink is decorated for the holiday – clementine bonsai and Foo dogs.