Chinese New Year begins today.
It starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later.
From Family Fun:
“The celebration of the 2011 Chinese New Year begins on February 3.
Most significant festivity of the traditional Chinese holidays. This holiday is partially determined by the lunar phase and usually starts on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. The celebration lasts for 15 days.
Traditions and rituals, themes of happiness, wealth and longevity embody this holiday. For instance, in order for good luck to not be swept away, people often put away brooms. Publicly, parades with dancing dragons are held to celebrate the beginning of the year. Red envelopes are passed out during Chinese New Year’s celebrations, which often contain even numbers of money. The red symbolizes good luck.
On Chinese New Year’s eve, relatives return home for a family reunion and dinner. Families reunites and give thanks. Visits to friends’ places also occur.
The new year is typically thought of as a fresh start. People often get haircuts or purchase new clothing.
The Festival of Lanterns is celebrated on the last day of the Chinese New Year.
The year 2011 marks the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac signs, that rabbit signifies character traits of compassion, creativity, friendliness. People who are born in the year of the rabbit also tend to avoid conflict.”
I thought it would be fun to share a few things we’ve found to help our children celebrate this special holiday in Chinese culture…
Our own Tonggu Momma has a fantastic list of Chinese New Year books.
Kaboose has put together a few fun Year of the Rabbit crafts.
If there is something special you enjoy doing on Chinese New Year, to help your child(ren) celebrate their heritage, feel free to share.
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè!
P.S. To learn how to pronounce this New Year’s and other Mandarin greetings correctly, click here and scroll down to the the audio links.