The first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, January 28 this year and it's the Year of the Rooster. Also called the "Spring Festival" the new year celebrations and traditions are centuries old and last about 15 days. Kids of all ages anticipate and enjoy the celebrations, parades, and special treats during the festival. On Chinese New Years Eve, families get together to ring in the new year with a reunion dinner where homes are decorated in red and gold paper crafts, glorious lanterns, and intricate ornaments. Mandarin trees and plum blossoms placed in homes during the new year to bring good luck and fortune. Fireworks are set off throughout the night and red paper envelopes of money are given out as gifts. These are only a few of the many Chinese New Year traditions. To learn more about the Chinese New Year celebrations for kids, visit the "A China Family Adventure" website.
Here are a few fun activities you and your family can do to celebrate the Chinese New Year in your home this year:
Learn a bit of Chinese:
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) and Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)! Means “Happy New Year!” and is the standard greeting throughout the holiday.
Have a countdown on Chinese by teaching your kids the numbers 1-10:
一 yī: one 二 èr: two 三 sān: three 四 sì: four 五 wǔ: five 六 liù: six 七 qī: seven 八 bā: eight 九 jiǔ: nine 十 shí: ten
Chinese New Year Crafts
Make your own Chinese lantern with the kids. Get some red and gold construction paper to create your own masterpiece. For step-by-step instructions, head on over to the China Family Adventure website.
You can also have lots of fun making fireworks on black construction paper using glitter glue!
Make a handprint rooster craft to celebrate the year of the rooster and teach your little ones how to say rooster in Mandarin: Gōngjī
Dress the Part
Don whatever red clothing you have — red is a lucky color in Chinese culture. Research the tales and legends of why red is the color of choice during the Chinese New Year. The stories will fascinate you and your children!
For more Mandarin lessons for kids, watch a free preview of Little Pim Mandarin for Kids! Comment below if you have any fun activities for Chinese New Years! Happy New Year or shall we say, Gong Xi Fa Cai!