Ideas for celebrating the Chinese New Year!

When is Chinese New Year?

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Chinese New Year begins according to the Chinese calendar which consists of both Gregorian and lunar calendar systems. Because the tracking of the new moon changes from year to year, the Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February

Spring Festival, Lunar New Year or commonly referred to as just Chinese New Year will begin on Sunday 10th Feb 2013 with celebrations running for as long as 15 days until Sunday 24th Feb 2013.

Chinese Lanterns

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The fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated as Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival. Candles are lit outside houses and families will walk the streets carrying lanterns. This day marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

Traditional Chinese lanterns are usually red in colour and oval shaped, however at the Lantern Festival you can expect to see an array of bright and bold colours, elaborate designs and patterns, characters, dragons, animal and all different shapes and sizes!

Chinese Cuisine

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Chinese Food can be found at all celebrations from rice to noodles and in a number of styles from Cantonese, Szechuan and even Mongolian cuisine! When celebrating the Chinese new year there will traditionally be a New Years Eve dinner that will be packed full with amazing foods and flavours including dishes of meat such as pork and chicken, and often include a hot pot to signify a family reuinion.

Chinese Zodiac

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There is a 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac which relates a different animal to each year. Chinse Year 2013 is the Year of the Snake.

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Previous Years and their symbolic meanings…

1972,1984,1996,2008 Year of the Rat

The RAT is the first sign of the zodiac. Typically people born under this sign will be a creative problem solver, imaginative a hyperactive worker respected for resourcefulness. Intuitive and with the ability to hold onto all things of value.

1973,1985,1997,2009 Year of the Ox

The OX is said to be an inspiring person that is easy-going and will possess a parent-like nature. They also have a tendency to have a bad temper, be quick to anger and very stubborn. They are however good listeners, yet don’t like to ask for help themselves. Most comfortable around Roosters.

1974,1986,1998,2010 Year of the Tiger

The TIGERs are contemplative, emotional and sensitive. Although they can have a short temper, quick tongue and may startle their inferiors. Widely respected for their courageousness, power is their natural gift. Compatible with Horses and Dragons.

1975,1987,1999,2011 Year of the Rabbit.

The RABBIT is often a private individual, a little introverted and sometimes withdrawn. People born to this sign would rather work behind the scenes and try not to be the centre of attention. With that said the rabbit is a friendly individual and enjoys the company of good friends.

1976,1988,2000,2012 Year of the Dragon.

The Dragon’s personality tends to be that of a free spirit. Everything that dragon’s do will be on a grand scale, they naturally express big ideas and offer ornate gestures. Dragons’ generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart.

Years to come…

1978,1990,20002,2014 Year of the Horse

The HORSE is a popular person, cheerful and quick to compliment others. They are also hard working, bursting with energy an extrovert. Entertaining and humourous around all people born under this sign tend to be quick-witted and intelligent.

1979,1991,2003,2015 Year of the Goat

The GOAT tends to be a great artists. They will ask many questions, they like nice things and will be very wise, they do tend to like a bit of peace and quiet and can be very calm, easygoing and relaxed.

1980,1992,2004,2016 Year of the Monkey

MONKEYs tend to be very funny and can run circles around other people. Both curios and clever, they will catch on quickly and are able to accomplish most tasks. They appreciate difficult or challenging to stimulate and make them think.

1981,1993,2005,2017 Year of the Rooster

The ROOSTER can be flamboyant, feisty and obstinate in personality. Also an extrovert, proud of who they are and outwardly confident, the rooster is also trustworthy and hardworking.

1982,1994,2006, 2018 Year of the Dog

The DOG has a giving, compassionate and supportive personality. Is a good listener, always available to a friend in need and are incredible attentive.

1983,1995,2007,2019 Year of the Pig

The PIG can be fun and enlightening, while having patience and understanding. People born under this sign will enjoy life, their family and friends. Honest and thoughtful, they belive it is better to give than receive.

As well as the 12 year cycle of the animal zodiac, there is also a 5 year cycle of the chinese elements, each phase has a complex series of associations with different aspects of nature and the best way in which to remember the order that the phases take place are as follows…

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1. Wood feeds Fire 2. Fire creates Earth (ash) 3. Earth bears Metal 4. Metal carries Water (as in a bucket) 5. Water nourishes Wood.

For Chinese New Year celebrations in other countries there may be some additional ways that you can add to your celebration. This year in Melbourne Australia there are a number of places that you can enjoy the festival. With displays of the traditional Chinese Lion Dance, firecrackers, folk music, martial artists and much more…

… To blend Australian culture with the Chinese New Year why not create party favours and gift ideas to give to your guests and visitors. Coolaz Stubby Holders can be designed with chinese characters and symbols, colours and photographic images to not only brighten up your event and match in with the theme but also they are practical for this summer time celebration in the southern hemisphere as they will keep your drinks cold! Here are some of our latest designs …

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Happy New Year!

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Independence Day 2012 – Fourth of July (4th July).

The 4th July (fourth of July) is a patriotic holiday observed in the USA commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – declaring independence from Great Britain.
Very few people will have to go to work on Independence Day and universally this day is associated with carnival type celebrations … from street parades to family BBQs, school fairs, concerts, baseball games and other sporting events – all topped off with fireworks after dark!

Many families will make the most of the long weekend with this first week in July being one of the busiest travel periods of the year, as many Americans will utilise the holiday for extended vacation trips and family reunions. People in the United States will use this time to express and give thanks for the freedom and liberties fought by the first generation of Americans.
The most common Independence Day symbol is the American flag. Its red, white and blue design is displayed in all possible ways on July 4 and can be seen in front of homes, buildings and window displays. Other symbols associated with Independence Day are the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York.

What a great time of year to grab your Coolaz stubby holders [known as Koozies in the US] and celebrate with your friends and family! Here are just a couple of designs to choose from, and don’t forget that you can add indivdual names to each of your coolers [koozies] so that you don’t get your drinks mixed up at your July Fourth event this year…

… and for those that were celebrating Canada Day on 1st July 2012 too!

Birthday Party Ideas – from child to adult!

Babies 1st Birthday!

Your baby’s first birthday will always be something very special to you. It is a great time to celebrate with friends and to congratulate yourself for making it through the first year!

Don’t feel that you have to go over the top for the 1st birthday party – after all your baby probably won’t remember the event details and it is likely to be more for the parents than the kids.

Take into consideration the way that your baby reacts to visitors or new places before planning the party – it may be better suited to have your party at home with some close family and friends, this will also help you to keep things low budget!

Another way to keep the cost down is to keep your party brief and this will also help by dictating a specific time slot that is good for the children – you will want to invite other ‘baby guests’ for sure, perhaps afternoon  tea will work better as this will be after ‘nap time’ ..!

If you go for afternoon tea you can create a buffet of finger foods – this will be great for both adults and babies that have a few teeth and can be snacked on between playing! Babies will play alongside each other, but probably not together at this age, so keep a variety of toys available within a large, safe floor space.

Party bags are not really appropriate at this age but you can provide a little gift for the parents as a thank you for coming – check out Coolaz stubby holders, there are so many designs available that will help you to decide on your party colours and theme – remember this is more for the adults and photo opportunities than for your one year old’s benefit. Most importantly make sure that you relax and let your baby and guests set the pace!

Children’s Birthday Inspiration

Whatever age or gender, your child will want to do something fun with their friends for their next birthday party – an excited 6 or 7 year old will want to impress their friends with a theme or venue that will leave them with plenty to talk about!

Girls 7+ will no longer want birthday parties with “baby” or “little kid” themes. Still, they will love to play, explore and create. For a 7-year-old girl’s birthday, you could host a jewellery / dress up party so that they can pretend to be grown ups! Or if you want a creative and unforgettable party you could go to a pottery painting studio where the kids can decorate ready-to-paint ceramic pieces into beautiful and usable pottery that they’ll cherish forever.

You could have a party in the park or at the beach  – make sure that you invite all of the parents too so that there are plenty of eyes, especially if you are around water! You could have a sea or shark theme …

Maybe Roller-skating or bowling would be on the cards for your kids party – Coolaz water bottle coolers are great for this sort of thing … the kids can go off and play and come back knowing which drink is theirs! Plus they get a great party favour to take a way with them too!

18th Party Ideas

Design ideas and inspiration for an 18th birthday gift, party theme or party favours-

Congratulations, it’s your 18th Birthday and in most parts of the world you can now consider yourself an adult! You can exercise your right to vote, flaunt your driving license and generally be responsible for you own decisions.

It is likely that you will want to do something special to celebrate and will be looking for some ideas for your birthday party, here are a few that we have come up with to help you get started.

Movie Night at the Pool – An outdoor movie night gives an 18th birthday ‘pool party’ a real twist. Fill the pool with some inflatable doughnuts, dinghies and li-lows and put on a classic Jaws shark movie!

Water Gun Party – show up with water-bazookas, super-soakers and pistols and fill up some large tubs of water, divide into teams and get soaking! You can provide prizes for the winners or the person that stays the driest!

Grand Final Party – If your birthday falls in the footy season you could throw an AFL Grand Final Birthday Party. Decorate your venue in your team colours, or have a dress code – for example you could choose a black & white theme if you barrack for Collingwood.

Cocktail Party – if you are in Australia or UK then you will officially be legal to drink alcohol if you are in the US then you will have to wait until your 21st of course!… it is always recommended that you drink responsibly of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with it! Grab yourself a cocktail book and a few friends and create yourself some amazing cocktails! You can suggest that everyone bring a different mixer so that you have a huge amount of variety.

30th Birthday Party Ideas

Born in the 1980s – Think Marty McFly and Back to the Future or MTV music videos and pop icons like Michael Jackson, Madonna & Prince playing through your ghetto-blaster!

40th Birthday

Born in the 1970s – Create your own Boogie Nights experience with a 70s theme party! Think Saturday Night Fever, bright lights and disco balls!! Add a splash of orange (hugely popular in the 70s) and plan for the best 70s disco ever!

50th Birthday

Born in the 1960s – The Summer of Love known as The Swinging 60s! Think Woodstock and groovy psychedelic influences! Peace, love and the rise of the ‘Hippie’ culture make this a very colourful theme for a 60s birthday party.

60th Birthday

Born in the 1950s – Rock and Roll dominated the popular music scene in the 1950s. It saw artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richie and Elvis taking to the stage! So think Teddy-boy, polka dots and American Diners! Select your music carefully from a Juke Box and ‘rock around the clock’ at your 50s theme party.

Whatever your theme and wherever your venue there are heaps of fantastic design ideas available to help create some amazing party favours!

Organising a Hens Night, Bachelorette Party or Bridal Shower – Tips and Ideas!

Organising a Hens Night, Bachelorette Party or Bridal Shower??

What will you choose?

Learn about the differences between the types of celebration and how you can make your party choice extra special for the bride to be and all the girls!

A bachelorette party, hens party, hens night or hen do, is a party held in honour of the bride to be. The terms hen party, hen do or hen night are common in the United Kingdom and Ireland, while the terms hens party or hens night are common in Australia and New Zealand. The term bachelorette party is widely used in the United States and Canada. This event may also be referred to as a girls’ night out or kitchen tea – but ultimately this is an occasion arrange for the bride to be to celebrate her last days of ‘freedom’ in the run up to her wedding day!
Hens / Bachelorette Party

Traditionally this party will be organised by the maid of honour and the bridesmaids – notoriously branded as a night of drunken debauchery the hens or bachelorette can vary in its theme and choice of entertainment.

Dare the Bride

… a bit of fun!

Hens Night Stubby HoldersWhat you ultimately decide to do at your party depends on the bride’s lifestyle, the age of those attending, and the area in which you live. It is important to make this a night to remember, a chance for all of the girls to let their hair down and have some fun!

It is a fantastic time to typically ‘dare the bride’ – you could make a list of questions and dares for the hen to compete throughout the night. It is a great idea to print these onto your personalised koozies as part of a party game!

Hens, Bachelorette, Bridal Shower – The Entertainment!

Hens night entertainment

Karaoke hens nightKaraoke is always a blast and can be a superb ice breaker too!

Get the bride up first to sing ‘white wedding’ or ‘girls just wanna have fun’ or go as a group if you’re a little shy at the beginning! You could also consider some caberet or go to a drag show for a few smiles and giggles!

Whatever entertainment is planned, the organiser should make sure that it will not embarrass or humiliate the honouree or any of the guests!

However, there is no harm in a little fun and often on a girls night out the organiser might arrange a male stripper or it is becoming increasingly popular to have some fun with all the girls at a pole dancing party!

The Formal Bridal Shower!


The bridal shower is a more formal pre-wedding event; this is an occasion for close family and friends of the bride to spend some relaxed time with her before the big day.

It’s a time for sharing funny stories, giving advice to the bride, and for all the girls to ‘shower’ her with gifts and  support. A bridal shower is commonly organised by the maid-of-honour and bridesmaids, quite often this can be arranged as a surprise so that the bride really does feel special!
Girls Only… ?!
Bridal Showers are traditionally a ‘girls only’ event, however in recent times it is becoming more common for this to be a couple’s party, often referred to as a “Jack and Jill Shower”.

Any time of day is acceptable for a bridal shower however they would normally be held in the afternoon.


Avoid the stress of a traditional shower…
Spa Bridal ShowerThe traditional shower can be held at a home, in a bar or restaurant. However, it is becoming increasingly common for shower planners to choose activities instead – such as, taking the bride out for a shopping spree, bowling bonanza, relaxed day at the spa or a winery tour to avoid the stress of a formal party.

If the couple decide on a joint Jack and Jill venture then this can be completely relaxed with a beach barbecue or party in the park.
Themes for your shower…
Some popular themes for bridal showers include lingerie, kitchen tea party, around the clock, spa and beauty or travel and honeymoon.

You could even go for a Paris theme like in the film ‘Bridesmaids’ – but maybe not quite as over the top 🙂

 

Bridal Shower, Bachelorette or Hens Party – The Rules!

There are some general rules to follow when arranging your pre-wedding event;

– Consider the brides personality when arranging the celebration, make sure that you try not to plan something that she will disapprove of or simply not enjoy, after all this is her day!

– Don’t invite guests to the shower who have not been invited to the wedding – that could be awkward!

– Don’t forget to give out party favors to all of the guests. These can be traditional favours such as small boxes of candy. Or they can be something a little different that relates to the theme of the shower such as personalised koozies, or charms for a cocktail or drinks party.

– Party games are a great way to break the ice, especially if a large number of the guests don’t already know each other.

– With bridal shower gifts, (if this is not a surprise) you could encourage the bride to sign up for a gift registry. With so many couples living on their own before getting married, it can be really difficult to decide what to get, make sure that the bride is mindful of people’s budgets when choosing her list.

And remember, you don’t have to simply go for one of the other. When organising the celebration for the bride-to-be you might want to choose a bridal shower as a daytime event and include mother of the bride, mother in law and other mature relatives. That way you can have the wild night out with the girls on a separate occasion and make sure that everyone is included.

Good luck and happy planning.

How to Plan a Party – Event Themes, Designs, Party Ideas and More!

Planning a Party? Where to begin?

Whether you are planning a party for your birthday, baby shower, engagement or wedding the actual preparation can be quite overwhelming! You will want to make sure that you invite the right people, pick the right venue and choose the best party supplies – after all everyone wants to throw a party that people will enjoy and remember! Choosing your venue… … and setting the date!

Birthday Design

Birthday Design

Save the date

The first step is to think about the venue, where you are having the party will have a big influence on your guests, how many you will invite and what sort of party it will be, you may choose a house party, beach party, your favourite restaurant or the local town hall..?! Once you know where you will be holding your party you can firstly set the date – you are likely to have this in mind before you choose the venue so that you can make sure that you get the right time etc.

Save the Date

Save the Date

Once you have it all booked then start picking a theme; this will help you to come up with the ideas for your invitations, decorations entertainment and more. Party Invitations! Party InvitationsMake sure that you set a budget for your party before you send out the invites that way you will know what to tell your guests, e.g BYO drinks or Food and Drink Provided.

Birthday Party Invitation

Birthday Party Invitation

Once you have tackled the theme you can then concentrate who you will invite, arrange to have your invitations sent out and await the RSVP’s from those would love to help you celebrate!

Choosing your Party Theme

The hardest part will be to pick the theme, there are so many fantastic ideas out there and your choice will of course depend on your personality, who you are inviting and what sort of party vibe you are after. There are some pretty cool themed ideas to help you plan a memorable party that your guests are sure to enjoy.

Why not choose a ‘Year Theme’ that means something to you – party ideas from the 1920s to the 1980s…

1920s Party Theme

Also known as the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age! The 20s saw an art deco style that represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity.

1920s Party Theme

1920s Party Theme

1940s Party Theme

With World War II taking place in the first half of the decade and lingering well into the late 40s, why not base your party on a wartime theme; hang up your bunting, wartime posters and pictures of spitfires and camouflage!

1940s Design

1940s Design

1950s Party Theme

Rock and Roll dominated the popular music scene in the late 1950s. It saw artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richie and Elvis taking to the stage! So think American Diner and select your music carefully and ‘rock around the clock’ at your 50s theme party.

1950s Party Theme

1950s Party Theme

1960s Party Theme

The Swinging 60s – think Summer of Love, Woodstock and Psychedelic influences! Peace, Love and the rise of the ‘Hippie’ culture make this a very colourful theme for a birthday party.

1960s Party Favors

1960s Party Favors

1970s Disco Party

Create your own Disco – Boogie Nights experience with a 70s theme party! Think John Travolta, bright lights and disco balls!!

1970s Disco Theme

1970s Disco Theme

1980s Party Theme

Think Marty McFly- Back to the Future or Madonna & Boy George! Whatever you plan for your 80s style party you can be sure that there are some pretty cool ideas for your party decorations, gifts and favours.

1980s Party Theme

1980s Party Theme

Other Party Themes

You could also consider a theme from the following list:

Back to School, Black and White, Caribbean or Hawaiian, Masked Ball or Mardi Gras, Tarts and Vicars, Hollywood, Murder Mystery, Beach Theme, Wild West or Winter Wonderland.

Party in Your Country

Why not choose a party theme based on your nationality or the country that you live in, you can choose nationality themed decorations and cuisine – here are a few… Spanish, French, Irish, British, Australian …

Australia Theme

Australia Theme

There are so many styles and themes to consider but with whichever you choose the golden rule is to make sure that you simply enjoy yourself, whether it is a party for you a family member or friend, all of your planning efforts must be rewarded with a little bit of fun!