The Chinese New Year is right around the corner on Friday, February 12, 2021. It is the year of the Ox! This is a fun holiday to celebrate with family and here are some doable ways to do it at home.
5 Ways to Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year
1. Read books about the Chinese New Year.
We have an assortment of books on Chinese culture and enjoy learning about one of the biggest holidays in the world. People travel near and far to celebrate this holiday with family. Peppa’s Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, and Celebrate Chinese New Year are some great books! If you have an older child, perhaps they can do some research on the holiday and share what they have learned with you. They can even write a story or design what they would want a dragon or lion to look like in a dance.
2. Celebrate with Chinese Food
This one is pretty easy and fun! Simply ordering Chinese food not only tastes great but also supports local. One of our favorite places to eat is Panda Gourmet. But ordering take-out at whatever Chinese restaurant is nearby is great too! You can also make traditional Chinese New Year desserts at home with these recipes.
3. Decorate for the Lunar New Year.
The Chinese New Year colors are red and gold. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy and gold symbolizes good luck. In the past, we have made homemade Chinese Lanterns that are fun! The 15th Day of the Lunar New Year (February 26th) is the Lantern Festival.
Making Chinese paper lanterns are super easy and all you need are three materials: paper, glue, and scissors. Cut a one-inch strip off of the paper for the handle. Fold the larger paper horizontally in half and cut small strips perpendicular to where the fold is. Leave about an inch strip on the edge so the cut doesn’t go all the way through. Unfold the paper and glue the edges to make the lantern then glue the handle on. You can make several of these big and small for fun decor.
4. Give red envelopes with money.
It is a tradition for parents to give their children red envelopes with money. Red is China’s lucky color, so the money is called lucky money. Purchase cute red envelopes like this or make a red envelope with red construction paper or by coloring paper red and folding it into an envelope. The money can be as much or as little as you want. You can also deliver these fun envelopes to friends and wish them Happy Lunar New Year.
5. Lion and Dragon Costumes and Dances
This year things will look different since we can’t attend the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, but we can participate in online events. Lion and Dragon dances are a staple of celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Lions and Dragons symbolize wisdom, power, and wealth and are performed for good luck for the new year. Even though we can’t attend a parade, here is a tutorial on how to make a lion/dragon mask out of a paper bag or cardboard box Chinese dragon at home. Have fun and if you create something, be sure to tag us on social media.
In what ways do you celebrate the Chinese New Year?