Chinese New Year is celebrated on February 8th this year, and marks the beginning of the Chinese year 4714. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar calendar, with the new year beginning on the darkest day of the month. New years celebrations often go as many as two weeks, until the next full moon. And a celebratory holiday it is, with red decorations, good-luck gifts of oranges and money, parades with dragon dances and firecrackers, and special foods.
Learn about Chinese Lunar New Year parades in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, as well as Chinese New Year activities around the world.
This year is the Year of the Monkey. See a Chinese zodiac calendar. Try one of these fun Chinese New Year activities:
Fingerprint Monkey Card from Crafty Morning
Year of the Monkey Papercut Printable from Craft Kids
Chinese Good Luck Ornament from Sand in My Toes
Paper dragon from Teach Kids Art
Paper Plate drums from Crafts and Art for Children
Kid-friendly Honey Prawns from Kidspot
Homemade fortune cookies from The Spiffy Cookie
Felt fortune cookies from Martha Stewart
Fruit roll-up fortune cookies from Recipe by Photo
Noisemakers from Slow Family Online
Make these easy paper lanterns
This is probably the classic Chinese New Year craft. It’s easy and satisfying. I made these as a kid and, of course, with my daughter.
- Construction paper
- Glitter or other decorations, as desired.
Fold a piece of paper in half length-wise.
Beginning at the fold, cut out approx. 4 very skinny triangles that go halfway up the folded section of paper.
Unfold the paper and curl together so that the two shortest ends of the paper meet and the cuts run vertically. (The cuts should now each result in a “diamond” shape.)
The paper lantern activity is adapted from Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which contains 300+ activities for family fun.
Lantern photo: Planetforward.ca