Chinese New Year represents the most important festival in Chinese culture. The Spring Festival is filled with rich traditions and joyous celebrations. There are so many fun ways for kids to participate and learn about Chinese New Year customs. Here are some activities to try!
Overview of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, ushers in the start of a new year according to the lunar calendar. It is celebrated by over 1 billion people worldwide with festivities that last around 2 weeks.
Key traditions include:
- Family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve
- Lighting fireworks and firecrackers
- Giving red envelopes filled with money
- Hanging red lanterns and decorations
- Eating auspicious foods like dumplings
- Dragon and lion dances performed in streets
The lively holiday atmosphere creates the perfect chance to engage kids in hands-on cultural activities.
Jane: 儿童过新年有啥传统活动呢?我想让孩子也感受一下中国节日的乐趣。 Értóng guò xīnnián yǒu shá chuántǒng huódòng ne? Wǒ xiǎng ràng háizi yě gǎnshòu yīxià zhōngguó jiérì de lèqù. What are some traditional Chinese New Year activities for kids? I want my children to also experience the joy of this festival.
Mary: 中国新年有很多可以让孩子参与的活动,像制作红包、龙舞等等,非常好玩! Zhōngguó xīnnián yǒu hěn duō kěyǐ ràng háizi cānyù de huódòng, xiàng zhìzuò hóngbāo, lóngwǔ děngděng, fēicháng hǎowán! There are lots of hands-on activities for Chinese New Year that kids can participate in, like making red envelopes, dragon dances, and more – really fun!
Fun Chinese New Year Activities for Kids
Make Red Envelopes
Red envelopes with money inside are given by married couples to kids for good fortune. Have children decorate their own red envelopes with calligraphy, sparkles, or stamps. Fill them with chocolates or coins instead of real money.
Paper Lantern Crafting
Lanterns create a festive atmosphere. Craft paper lanterns together by gluing colorful paper cutouts onto a basic lantern template. Kids can let creativity run wild with dragon or flower designs.
Cook Traditional Foods
Involve kids in preparing tasty holiday treats like fried dumplings, spring rolls, or Nian Gao sticky rice cake. Frying dumplings could be supervised as a fun family cooking activity.
Lion Dance Reenactment
Mimic the lion dance traditionally performed during New Year by two people holding a decorated lion head prop. Play festive music and have kids take turns manipulating the lion while dancing.
Learn Chinese Songs/Dances
Teach children classic New Year songs like “Gong Xi Gong Xi” or the catchy “Xin Nian Hao” dance. Add hand motions and have everyone sing together to welcome the Lunar New Year!
Create Paper-cut Decorations
The art of paper-cutting is integral to Chinese festivals. Provide red paper and have kids cut out simple shapes like flowers or animals to hang up around the house.
FAQ on Chinese New Year Kids Activities
When is Chinese New Year celebrated?
Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the lunar calendar, between mid-January to mid-February. In 2023, it falls on January 22nd.
What’s the significance of red for the holiday?
Red symbolizes luck, prosperity and drives away evil spirits in Chinese culture. It’s prominently featured during the Spring Festival.
How do you greet someone for Chinese New Year?
The Mandarin greeting is “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (新年快乐) meaning “Happy New Year.” You can also say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (恭喜发财) meaning “Wishing you prosperity.”
What do kids receive in red envelopes?
Red envelopes traditionally contain money in even amounts as lucky gifts from elder relatives. For craft activities, sweets or coins can be substituted inside.
What are some other kid-friendly Chinese New Year traditions?
Watching dragon dances, setting off firecrackers, dressing up in Chinese clothes, eating dumplings, and watching the New Year Gala show on TV.
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