Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in China. Following the Chinese Lunar calendar, this holiday honors ancestors and deities– this year, it falls on February 1st. It’s a great opportunity to teach your students about this culturally-rich celebration, and it’s one your students will love learning about!
Paper plate dragon twirlers
In China, dragons represent strength, good luck, and health. Their imagery is used in celebrations all over the country to welcome those qualities into the new year, making this fun and simple craft the perfect class activity. The best part is, you probably have all you need in the classroom already!
Illuminate some paper lanterns
Lanterns are a Chinese staple that date back over 2,000 years. Emulating the full moon, they cover city streets in China during the New Year celebration. This step-by-step guide to making your own is easy to follow, and lots of fun for students! Don’t build them in fours, though! Four is considered an unlucky number.
Decorate and exchange red envelopes
Every Chinese New Year, red envelopes are exchanged between loved ones. Inside the envelopes is usually money, but it’s the envelope itself that holds true meaning. Representing happiness, luck, and fortune, these envelopes are a treasured part of the festivities. Tell your students to partner up with a friend, decorate red envelopes, and share well wishes with each other in an envelope exchange (no money necessary)!
Build a rattle drum and make some music
The rattle drum is one of the most popular toys in the world. It was originally invented in China as a percussion instrument to harmonize with others. They’re seen all over the Lunar New Year celebration, and they’re easy to make at home or in the classroom with some paper plates and string!