Holiday parties are not always limited to the traditional approach. A recent client of ours asked us to create a Chinese New Year party as an alternative to a more traditional event and to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. The client’s beautiful home served as the backdrop for this intimate affair. Our first challenge was to create a dramatic entryway to set the tone of the party. As guests entered the property, a striking red lantern tunnel led the way. Guests were greeted with a ginger spiced martini and then invited into the dragon’s lair. In Chinese culture, dragons are not horrible monsters that are to be feared as portrayed in movies and legends. The Dragon is a symbol of good fortune and a sign of intense power. Our team of artists created a fabulous, fire-breathing dragon entryway that guests were able to walk through. As you stepped onto the dragon’s tongue and walked past his massive teeth, you entered a red draped, fire accented passageway complete with incense and the sounds of traditional Chinese chimes leading to the backyard.
As guests entered the backyard, the lush landscape served as the perfect backdrop for this Chinese New Year celebration. A large, circular bar was centrally located and featured a dragon ice sculpture up lit in fire red. A dramatic lantern treatment framed lounge groupings detailed with red and orange pillows and floral complements where guests lounged and enjoyed cocktails. Custom hors d’ oeuvres were created in keeping with the theme: cardamom & citrus glazed chicken, egg drop soup shots, pan sear foie gras with candied mandarin orange and pomegranate pearls…just to name a few! Guests also enjoyed a dim sum station complete with vegetable steamed buns, honey-tamarind beef spare ribs and chicken shumai and finished up the night with delicious desserts like chocolate whiskey mouse shots.
Welcome to the Year of the Dragon, which is considered the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac. 恭喜發財, or, “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” is the traditional greeting for the Chinese New Year, meaning, “wishing you prosperity. So, from our AJW family to yours—wishing you a prosperous 2012!