A Family Friendly Chinese New Year Celebration

  Streamers? Check. Noise makers? Check.

Don’t put away your New Year’s decorations just yet -- January 31 marks the start of the Chinese New Year and it’s a great excuse to have a fun-filled celebration with your family.

This year is the Year of the Horse and will be celebrated with parties, food, dragon dances, and fireworks both in China and in Chinatown’s throughout North America.

Chinese New Year is also called the Lunar New Year because it’s celebrated on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar – and this year’s celebration will ring in the year 4712.

Want to celebrate the Year of the Horse? Here are 4 easy ways to join in the fun.

1. Learn a bit of Chinese:

Kung Hey Fat Choy! Means “Happy New Year!” and is the standard greeting throughout the holiday.

2. Dress the part:

Don whatever red clothing you have --- red is a lucky color in Chinese culture.

3. Decorate for your celebration:

Paper lanterns are a perfect project for craft time with your kids (although they can be any color, consider red to keep the new year’s theme).

4.  Wok up a family-friendly Chinese dish:

The Lunar New Year is a usually celebrated with a big family meal.

Fried Rice is a great option to make at home with your family – let your children add their favorite veggies and practice picking up larger pieces of veggies with chopsticks while you cook.

CHINESE NEW YEAR FRIED RICE

(The vegetables below are just a guideline, feel free to substitute or add your favorites) 

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet.

Add 1 chopped onion and 2 small cloves of chopped garlic. Cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add approximately 1 cup of chopped pepper, carrots, celery or sliced snow peas. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix in 2 cups of cooked rice and stir until vegetables are fully mixed in.

Create an open hole in the middle of your pan and add 1 tsp of oil, then add 2 beaten eggs. Scramble eggs in hole, then mix into rice mixture.

Finally, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and stir through rice mixture until full seasoned.

Here's one more Chinese phrase you'll want to know when you're done eating:

Nn, mìan hăo chī! 嗯,面 好 吃! Mm! It’s good!!