chinese new year

Fun Activities to Celebrate Chinese New Years with Kids

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

chinese-for-kids-little-pim-vol-1

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!

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!!