Chinese New Year

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Today is the Chinese New Year Eve, with Chinese New Year being on February 12th. The celebration lasts for 16 days until the Lantern Festive. According to China Highlights, most preparations begin a week prior.

It is also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China, and has strongly influenced Lunar New Year celebrations such as the Losar of Tibet and of China’s neighbouring cultures, including the Korean New Year, and the Tết of Vietnam. It is also celebrated worldwide in regions and countries that houses significant Overseas Chinese or Sinophone populations, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Mauritius, as well as in North America and Europe.

The Chinese New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The festival was traditionally a time to honour deities as well as ancestors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the New Year vary widely, and the evening preceding the New Year’s Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes. For the northern regions of China, dumplings are featured prominently in meals celebrating the festival. It often serves as the first meal of the year either at midnight or as breakfast of the first day.

Below we did a round up of delicious Chinese dished in honor of the Lunar New Year. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to an Asian Market for last minute ingredients so instead we plan on going to a new Chinese Restaurant in town for take out. We will be doing crafts during the day and watching Mulan. You can check out more of what we have on the schedule at Matthew’s Kitchen, where i have more educational resources thats cooking related.

Crafts

Toilet Paper Roll Chinese New Year Firecracker Craft – Mombrite

Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet Craft for Kids – MomBrite

Free Chinese New Year Printables for Kids – Hawaii Travel with Kids

Chinese Dragon Puppets: Chinese New Year Craft – Hawaii Travel with Kids

Adorable DIY Chinese Lantern Craft for Kids – Hawaii Travel with kids

Resources

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns by Carolyn Otto

Children have never had so many reasons to learn how Chinese people everywhere ring in the new and ring out the old. As China takes its new place on the global stage, understanding Chinese culture and values becomes ever more essential to our next generation.

For two joyous weeks red is all around. The color represents luck and happiness. Children receive money wrapped in red paper, and friends and loved ones exchange poems written on red paper. The Chinese New Year is also an opportunity to remember ancestors, and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family. The holiday ends with the Festival of Lanterns, as many large communities stage the famous Dragon Dance. Fireworks, parades, lanterns, presents, and feasts: these are some of the joys experienced by all who observe Chinese New Year.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim

It’s Chinese New Year, and Goldy Luck’s mother wants her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the neighbors. The Chans aren’t home, but that doesn’t stop Goldy from trying out their rice porridge, their chairs, and their beds—with disastrous results.

In this funny and festive retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Natasha Yim and Grace Zong introduce a plucky heroine who takes responsibility for her actions and makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!), just in time for Chinese New Year.

Includes back matter about Chinese New Year and a recipe for turnip cakes.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year (Chinese Festivals) – Sanmu Tang

He tells her the stories of Nian and the monster Xi (Chinese New Year); Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet who loved his kingdom (Dragon Boat Festival); the Jade Emperor of Heaven who ordered the earth to be destroyed by fire (Lantern Festival); and Hou Yi who shot down the suns (Mid-Autumn Festival). 

In Celebrating the Chinese New Year, Little Mei wants to know why her family celebrates the Chinese New Year. All her family members have their own reasons, but it is Grandpa who tells her the story of Nian and monster Xi.

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