Chinese New Year’s Day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar and this year it’s celebrated on Monday February 8th. If you are looking for ways to spend fun family time on these cold, gray Winter days, you can all learn more about China and celebrate Chinese New Year with the kids. Here are a few easy activities.
1) Make easy paper lanterns.
One of the ways the Chinese celebrate their New Year also called Lunar New Year or the Chinese Spring Festival is by decorating their home with paper lanterns. You can do this easily as well. Use the red paper, as color red is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture and follow these easy instructions. Older kids can do them on their own.
Cool Kidz say: You can do them in any color really and it looks better if you put another sheet of paper inside the lantern.
2) DIY Monkey
Chinese New Year 2016 will be the year of the Monkey. What does that mean? The Monkey is the ninth sign in Chinese astrology and the number 9 is associated with ambition, activity, smartness, mischief and adventure.
Give your kids free reign and let them draw, paint and cut out monkeys of any kind.
Here are some fun monkeys you can make with younger kids as well and it’s fun since you use your hands for painting.
3) Story time
There is an interesting legend about the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. You can either read it to the kids or I found a very nice cartoon on Youtube that we’ve watched and learned all about the traditions.
4) Writing the Chinese characters
I find the characters fascinating so I tried writing down the greeting Happy Chinese New Year.
My kids didn’t even want to try. I hate that my oldest takes it to so seriously and is afraid she will mess it up, despite me assuring her that this is not school. It’s supposed to be fun.
Cool Kidz rebuttal: Thanks Mom, I have enough fun learning to write as it is. But you can have all the fun you want with Chinese. OK?
5) Prepare red envelops
No presents from Santa but red envelopes or packets are given to kids as New Year gifts. They are considered lucky envelopes and contain money. Those who receive a red packet are wished another year negotiated safely and peacefully. Read more about it.
Just for the fun of it, I will be preparing red envelops for my kids too and sharing my blessings. But they’ll have to wait a few more days.