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Virtual Chinese New Year Celebration Ideas: Games & Activities for 2023
Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important Chinese holiday. It is a holiday the Chinese people began celebrating over 3,800 years ago. Today, Lunar New Year is celebrated by over two billion people in distant Asian countries.
It has also become an international celebration for regions and countries with significant Chinese populations, especially in Southeast Asia. In America, Lunar New Year celebrations are most visible in Chinatowns across the country.
Today, hosting a virtual Chinese New Year is more important and popular than ever. Due to different strands of COVID-19, traditional celebrations this holiday I season have become more complicated.
Companies and teams understand the importance of this time for their employees, and a virtual Lunar New Year party is an opportunity to honor the holiday and the people for whom this time is essential.
What is the Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year marks the end of the previous year with the commencement of spring. Lunar New Year takes place on a different day each year. The Chinese Lunar New Year 2023 started on January 22nd.
The origins of the Lunar New Year can be traced back to ancient times. There is a legend that people used fireworks and firecrackers to chase away Nian, the beast that ate children. The tradition has continued to the present day, and now it serves as a time for gaining good fortune and scaring off beasts. Some people believe that this celebration was meant for farmers to have a rest from their field labor and prepare for the next season.
The Chinese calendar has 12 zodiac animals representing the cycle of 12 stations or signs. Each year has its own zodiac animal. The Lunar New Year 2023 will be the Rabbit year. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture.
Why is Chinese New Year important?
Today, Lunar New Year remains the most recognized holiday for families because it is a time for people to reunite and spend time together.
The holiday is seen as an opportunity to gather together for everyone separated from their relatives due to work, education, global trends, and urbanization.
Chinese New Year has many religious traditions and beliefs that hold cultural value for ensuring good luck in the coming year.
Want to ensure good luck for your team for the whole next year? Celebrate Chinese New Year in virtual spaces together.Book a demo
Lunar New Year traditions and activities
Traditions for Chinese New Year are something unique and special.
- Home cleaning
When getting ready for the celebration, the Chinese clean their homes, throw away all unnecessary stuff, and appease the traditional Chinese idols. Houses are decorated with red lanterns, red spring couplets, paper decorations, and New Year’s pictures.
- Traditional clothes
Chinese usually wear red or other brightly-colored clothes on New Year’s Day. Red is China’s good luck color, believed to scare away spirits of bad fortune.
- Red envelopes
Another tradition is giving out money to children in red envelopes. They are traditionally associated with the Lunar New Year but are also given for birthdays, weddings, and any other special occasions. By the way, it’s an excellent idea for a New Year’s gift. Different envelopes convey different meanings like good fortune, happiness, luck, etc.
Lion and dragon dance performances hold a special place in Lunar New Year celebrations. Like fireworks and firecrackers, they are believed to scare away the evil spirits and clear a path for good luck.
Dumplings are a traditional Chinese New Year dish. The Chinese people believe this dish can bring wealth and prosperity, as previously, gold and silver bars had the same shape.
- Traditional games
Online Chinese new year cards and board games are traditionally trendy in China during the New Year season: Mah Jong, Dou Dizhu, Xiangqi, and Chinese “Long Cards.”
Top 10 virtual Chinese New Year Virtual Activities
While planning a virtual-run Lunar New Year party, you’ll need to enrich your celebration with fun activities for your guests. You can think about some go-to games like Bingo or Quiz or some crazier ones like a virtual talent show. Here are 10 more ideas and activities for your virtual Lunar New Year party 👇Book a demo
1. Prepare Chinese songs for Virtual Music Bingo
Try including different memorable songs for Lunar New Year Celebration in a Virtual Music Bingo Playlist. You can include various songs that contain wishes for others:
- “Gongxi, Gongxi” – Congratulations/Good Wishes
- “Gong Xi Fa Cai” – I wish you wealth and prosperity
- “Xin Nian Kuai Le” – Happy New Year
- “Daji Dali” – Lots of luck and profit
- “Jixiang ruyi” – Good fortune according to your wishes
And don’t forget about prizes for winners! These can come in the form of different electronic vouchers, subscriptions, etc.
2. Word Puzzle
Word puzzles are fun for people of any age, from children to adults. It’d be great if you prepared or found some New Year word puzzles to get people immersed in the New Year mood. There is one way to make it even more exciting; turn it into a race, and award the first person who guesses all the words. You can also choose not a word for the puzzle but a picture of them depicting the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
3. Organize a paper cutting workshop
Your guests will enjoy creating beautiful pieces of paper-cut artwork, especially if there are lots of kids at your virtual party. You can plan a masterclass on creating a “Chun” piece, a Chinese New Year Character meaning spring.
4. Watch lion and dragon dance performances
Given the pandemic, it may not be safe to travel and visit a live dance performance. But you can watch recorded or live streamed performances together with your guests. A lion or dragon dance performance is an indispensable part of the Chinese New Year celebration.
5. Meow song
Spice up your virtual party with some more culturally Chinese ideas. Turn some popular songs into meow songs and make your guests guess which song they were derived from.
6. Virtual Cocktail mixology
You can set up a online cocktail master class with a renowned cocktail mixologist, thanks to modern technologies. But don’t forget to send your guests boxes with ingredients beforehand. Otherwise, they won’t be able to follow along.
7. Create a playlist of Chinese New Year songs
There are tons of Chinese New Year songs that can help you set the right mood and atmosphere for your online party. You can take advantage of ready-made Spotify playlists or create your own.
8. Set up a dress code
Set up a red dress code for your party when celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2023 online. Red is a lucky color that is traditionally worn on the Lunar New Year and at weddings. Moreover, you can even set a prize for the best red outfit. Ask your guests to take a photo wearing their New Year outfits and organize an anonymous poll. The winner receives the prize based on the votes collected.
9. Share family moments
Chinese New Year is a traditional holiday that families tend to celebrate together. If you’re throwing a virtual celebration, consider creating a slideshow with the best memories of the Tiger Year. There is one more idea of how to integrate a family element into your party. You can set up a photo quiz where guests have to guess who is pictured in the photo.
10. Chinese Tea ceremony
Tea ceremonies are widely practiced with family and friends and can be a way to symbolize connection or express respect and gratitude. In China, tea rituals traditionally begin on the first morning of the first day of the Lunar New Year. Younger family members serve their older relatives a mix of sweet tea and wish them a “Happy New Year.”
TOP-5 Chinese New Year Virtual Games
Online Mah Jong
This is a traditional Chinese game with tiles. The online version has the same rules as the traditional game. Usually, groups of 4 players play this game. Majiang is a challenging game to learn, and in addition to the reasonably complex strategy required to play well, you will also need a pretty good understanding of Chinese characters.
Online Dou Dizhu
The second most popular game is Dou Dizhu, or “Fight the Landlord” in English, is a Chinese new year card game. Today it is also played online with standard poker cards.
This game is often called “Chinese poker” and is usually played in groups of three. Depending on the region, this game also has dozens of different rules and playstyles. Dou Dizhu is high-speed. It creates an exciting, loud, and intense atmosphere.
Chinese chess, or elephant chess, is a two-player strategy board game. The game is similar to Western chess – the main goal is to check the king, but some specific rules are unique to Chinese chess. This game is also one of the favorite Chinese new year online games and can be your virtual lunar new year activity.
Chinese “Long Cards” online
In rural areas of southern China, a game similar to rummy is often played with long cards that have Chinese numbers on them.
Lantern Riddles for an Online Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival during the 15th day of the Chinese New Year is traditionally the last day of the Spring Festival. It is a game for solving puzzles attached to bright lanterns hung everywhere in large numbers. You can choose a Chinese new year virtual background and place lanterns anywhere around the space, with riddles in the form of QR-codes
How to host a Virtual Lunar New Year celebration
The global pandemic changed every aspect of our lives, from how we work, our shopping habits, and even how we party. With the COVID restrictions and global lockdowns, people have found new ways to spend time with their nearest and dearest and even organize virtual parties.Book a demo
Of course, there is the typical offering of the usual apps and tools for online meetings. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Microsoft Teams are widely used for online activities. You can easily organize a Virtual Lunar New Year celebration via one of the aforementioned tools. But there is another way to make things more engaging – Party. Space.
Party.Space levels up your virtual celebration by creating an unforgettable atmosphere just like in the good old days. Thanks to impressive virtual 3D technologies, all your guests will be able to experience full immersion in a virtual world. Your online party will be like a metaverse, a separate digital world, where your guests can be social, play different games, travel between various locations, listen to DJ sets, and even mix awesome cocktails.
Here’s how your virtual party can look with Party Space.
How to celebrate Chinese New Year Virtually
Hosting a virtual Lunar New Year party is probably the last thing we’d think of if there were no COVID at all. But this year, we also need to be more conscious about our health and find safer ways to throw a party.
A virtual party can be as fun as an in-person one if you know how to celebrate the Lunar New Year virtually. By the way, hosting and visiting an online party has one big advantage – there is no need to drive home afterward. Here’s our simple guide on organizing and hosting a virtual party worth remembering.
1. Choose a platform for your Chinese New Year virtual party
Facebook Rooms, Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are all great tools for Lunar New Year virtual celebration. While organizing a virtual party, you need to make sure that your internet connection can handle it. No one likes when the video is frozen. Apart from conventional tools for video conferencing, there are some solutions developed specifically for online parties, like Party.Space.Book a demo
2. Draw up your guest list
Thanks to the internet, you can invite anyone you want, including your family and friends from other parts of the world. Just don’t forget about time differences.
3. Choose a theme
When throwing an online party, let your creativity run wild. You can create an atmosphere of Chinese New Year with the help of a Lunar New Year virtual background with a decorated space for celebration. Warn guests to prepare accordingly symbolic red clothing.
4. Make a menu
Even on you Virtual Lunar New Year, you can prepare traditional dishes. The most common Chinese New Year dishes include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and nyangao. Some essential Chinese or Lunar New Year dishes have symbolism behind them:
- Dumplings and Spring rolls — Wealth
- Fish — Increaseed Prosperity
- Chicken — Luck and Wholeness
- Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness
- Noodles — Happiness and Longevity
5. Prepare games and activities
Come up with a few ideas of go-to games for your celebration. They can be anything from Guess That Tune to Bingo, Charades, or This or That questions. There are literally thousands of activities for virtual party attendees. By the way, you can poll your guests and add the most popular games to your list of activities for a virtual party.
6. Pick out some traditional dance and fireworks shows
The Chinese New Year cannot go without traditional lion and dragon dance performances and fireworks displays. These are vital elements of the festive mood. Pick out some of the most popular shows or find some live-streaming events to watch with your guests.
7. Host an amazing virtual Lunar New Year party
While partying with your nearest and dearest, share your resolutions for the next year and turn them into a game. Let your guests anonymously submit their resolutions, and then your guests can try to figure out who each resolution belongs to.
Throwing an online party isn’t harder than hosting a traditional one. But it has several benefits, including no party messes, no need to drive back home, and no worries about accommodating guests in your home.
The Chinese New Year is a special time in Chinese culture. During the lunar festival, people are trying to spend as much time with their families and friends as possible. But the global pandemic has dramatically changed the way we are able to celebrate it.
Thanks to modern technologies, you can celebrate the Lunar New Year in 2023 without even leaving your home. We hope you’ll find our ultimate Chinese New Year ideas and activities helpful for planning your online celebration.
With Party.Space, you can throw an unforgettable farewell party for the Lunar New Year 2023 and welcome the Rabbit Year with your family and friends. Our platform is highly flexible and can adjust per your needs. By the way, sign up for a free demo to try our platform and Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Published Jan 15, 2023
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