You Still Have Time to Order These Lunar New Year Altar Staples
From footed bowls to a marbleized tray, here’s where to start.
Published Jan 10, 2023 6:35 PM
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Lunar New Year falls on Sunday, January 22, this year, and that gives you just enough time to gather vessels for your most striking altar yet. Kate Berry, Domino’s chief content officer, arranges one every year, and hers is as lovely as they get—which is why we’re taking detailed notes from her on what to own and why.
On her altar, you’ll see small vessels for candy, serveware for fruit, and footed bowls to add height variation. Whether you’re a seasoned host looking to mix it up or this is your first time observing, any of these items is a good place to start. And, of course, each pick will outlive the festivities and come in handy for all the entertaining you’re planning on doing this year.
For the Little Things
Berry prefers to play with scale when composing an altar—she doesn’t like everything to be the same size. One way to do that is by filling small teacups and rice bowls with incense. Berry lights incense when she prays and presents the offerings on the altar to her ancestors. Smaller dishes are especially helpful if you’re tight on space; even the tiniest studio apartment has room for a 3-inch plate.
For a Bigger Bounty
When showcasing fruit (tangerines represent happiness and abundance), a larger serving bowl or tray will come in handy. Baskets are also an option and bring in a new texture.
For Added Height
Placing taller items toward the back of the altar adds dimension and variation—when all the pieces are the same height, things can blend together. Footed bowls and cake stands are a great place to start and can hold everything from pastries to produce.
For a Little Heat
Berry likes to add candles to her altar as well as the aforementioned incense. In addition to making the area feel more ceremonial, tapers are a great way to bring in height.
For Pretty Petals
Flowers symbolize prosperity and growth, so you’ll want to weave them in whether you’re going big with quince branches or smaller with a bud arrangement. And finding the right vase will get you halfway there.