Posted: Friday, January 24th, 2014
Chinese New Year is a celebration of good fortune and new beginnings. While the traditions for Chinese New Year originate in the cultures and communities in China, the holiday is celebrated the world-over with parades, festivals, and parties. If you’re unfamiliar with Chinese New Year celebrations and customs, there are several simple ways that you can celebrate with your family. Read on to learn how to celebrate Chinese New Year with your children.
Cleaning and tidying your home is a great way to prepare for the New Year. Cleaning up dirt and dust is seen as a way to ‘sweep away the bad luck’ from the previous year. Getting ready for Chinese New Year is also a great motivator for kids to pitch in on the cleanup process. Tidying up can also apply to personal appearance; many people get haircuts or new clothes for the New Year.
The color red is associated with good luck during Chinese New Year, so many families choose to decorate their houses in the color. Try making Chinese New Year crafts for kids with your children to add some good-luck red to your home. Elaborate looking dragon puppets, wishing trees, and hanging lanterns are surprisingly easy to make with young children, using cardstock and floral foam.
One of the best ways to celebrate Chinese New Year is with food! Families celebrate the holiday by eating foods that symbolize a long and prosperous year. Eating a whole fish, with head and tail included, is symbolic of having a good beginning and ending to the New Year. Long noodles, such as Chow Mein, symbolize a long life. Make the meal extra special with dumplings as appetizers and fortune cookies for dessert.
In many cities, the multi-week Chinese New Year celebration begins with a big parade and ends with a lantern festival. Do an online search to see if a city near you offers these celebrations. Another fun tradition revolves around red envelopes; married couples give red envelopes containing small amounts of money to single adults and children. You can even make and decorate your own envelopes using this template. Generally, the holiday is celebrated by being friendly and cheerful, so meet with friends, enjoy family togetherness, and take time to do things that make you happy.