CHINESE NEW YEAR ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS & TEACHERS

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WHEN IS CHINESE NEW YEAR?

In 2014, Chinese New Year falls on January 31st. It ends on February 14 which is also Valentine's Day.. Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days.

However, do take note that Chinese New Year has no fixed date. It is celebrated following the lunar calendar. The lunar calendar is calculated on the time the moon takes to go around the Earth. Emperor Shih Huang Ti introduced the animal zodiac cycle. There are a total of 12 animals in the zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese calendar, it takes sixty years and five cycles of twelve years each for a complete cycle. Chinese New Year usually falls in either January or February.

Chinese New Year Dates and the related animal zodiac


2009 Jan 26 - Ox
2010 Feb 14 - Tiger
2011 Feb 3 - Rabbit
2012 Jan 23 - Dragon
2013 Feb 10 - Snake
2014 Jan 31 - Horse
2015 Feb 19 - Goat
2016 Feb 8 - Monkey
2017 Jan 28 - Rooster
2018 Feb 16 - Dog
2019 Feb 5 - Pig

HOW DO THE CHINESE CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR?

    SPRING CLEANING

Spring cleaning is a must before Chinese New Year's Day. No sweeping is allowed on the first day of Chinese New Year as it is believed that you will be sweeping out all your goodluck or family fortune.

    REUNION DINNER

Family members will get together on the eve of Chinese New Year for is called the reunion dinner. This is the most important day of all. Some families prepare elaborate dinners while some will choose to have a steamboat dinner.

The steamboat dinner is a big pot of soup placed in the middle of the dinner table and lots of different kinds of foods like shrimps, fish, crabs, meatballs, fishballs, chicken meat, pork and vegetables are put into the pot of soup to cook.

    FIRST DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR

All debts have to be repaid by this time. There should also be no lending on this day as it is believed that it will put you in debt for the whole year.

Everyone is encouraged to speak only good and nice things on this day. Using inappropriate language is considered bad luck.

Children also get away with their misbehaviour on this day. Parents do not want to upset their children or make them cry as crying on New Year's Day is considered unlucky.

It is advisable to start the day off by consuming a bowl of sweet dessert called "tong sui" (syrupy sweet drink) in Cantonese. It symbolises starting the year off sweet and pleasant.

The children will greet their parents and adults :

  • Gong Hei Fatt Choy (in Cantonese)
  • Gong Xi Fa Cai (in Mandarin)
  • Keong Hee Huat Chai (in Hokkien)

    The meaning of "Gong Xi" is congratulations while "Fa Cai" means be rich or prosperous. All the above have the same meaning. They only sound different.

    New clothes and shoes are a must for Chinese New Year.

    The younger generation will go visit their elder relatives and friends too. Married couples, will have to give a red packet called "Hong Pow" containing money inside to those who are not married and also to their parents.

    The hosts will serve their guests all kinds of cookies and the Mandarin Orange. The Mandarin Orange is a symbol of prosperity.

      SECOND DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR
    The elder generation who stayed at home to welcome visiting relatives on the first day, will now visit their friends and relatives.

    One of the things that most Chinese do during Chinese New Year is to play some card games. It is a favorite past time during this festive season of 15 days. The Chinese also like to set off lots of fireworks and firecrackers during this time. To find out the reasons for all the firecrackers and fireworks, go to our story section and watch the video of "Nian".

    Links to more information about Chinese New Year


    CHINESE NEW YEAR RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS

    Find Chinese New Year lesson plans and other resources here


    CHINESE NEW YEAR PRINTABLES
    Chinese New Year Worksheets and Coloring
    Boy in traditional chinese costume Coloring by kiddyhouse.com

    Lantern Printable

    Chinese New Year Lion Dance coloring by kiddyhouse.com


    CHINESE NEW YEAR CLIPARTS & GRAPHICS
    Chinese New Year Clipart Collection 1 by kiddyhouse.com


    CHINESE NEW YEARS MIDI AND SONGS & POEMS
    Smile at everyone you see
    Chinese New Year song in English. Lyrics and music to sing along with.

    VIDEO : Her Xin Nian Chinese New Year Song


    Download midi file : Her Xin Nian

    Chinese New Year
    For PreK onwards.

    Chinese New Year Midi
    Nice collection of Chinese New Year midi files.


    CHINESE NEW YEAR CRAFTS
    Chinese New Year Crafts for kids by kiddyhouse.com
    Many crafts to choose from. Most are accompanied by a picture of the craft or card.

    CHINESE NEW YEAR STORIES
    Chinese New Year Stories For Kids
    Watch the videos or read it online.


    CHINESE NEW YEAR RECIPES
    YUSANG (CHINESE NEW YEAR SALAD)
    The Preparation and Making of the Most Popular Dish For The Chinese New Year. Eaten on the 7th day of Chinese New Year.

    CHINESE NEW YEAR BOOKS


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