Chinese New Year

Looking for some creative ways to celebrate Chinese New Year? We’ve put together some suggestions so you can get crafty and learn about the history of the celebration.

Each Chinese New Year is symbolised by a different animal of the zodiac and on Friday 16 February 2018 the year of the dog will begin.

The history of Chinese New Year

Ever wondered why Chinese decorations are traditionally red? They are inspired by a mystical tale about a beast called Nian. Legend has it that Nian came to villages on New Year’s Eve and ate the people who lived there. The gods told people to cover their houses in the colour red as the mystical beast was afraid of the colour. To this day, people cover their houses with red decorations at New Year – and the beast Nian never did return!

Did you know that Chinese New Year is traditionally a time for family? Children and unmarried people receive red envelopes filled with money which are believed to bring good luck.

On New Year’s Day, parades are held in many cities and these often involve lion and dragon dances which are thought to get rid of evil spirits. Fireworks and firecrackers are set off to welcome in the New Year as well as to ward off evil.

The Lantern Festival is on the final day of the celebration, with children making and decorating their own lanterns before releasing them to mark the first full moon of the year and the official start of spring.

Get crafty – make Chinese lanterns

Make a Chinese lantern using coloured A4 paper, scissors and sellotape.

Fold the paper in half and make a series of cuts along the folded line, being careful not to cut all the way to the edge of the paper. Unfold the paper and stick the short ends together so that they make a circle.

Decorate your lantern with patterns, colours, glitter and anything else you fancy. Hang your finished lantern in your house to bring good luck.

Create firework art

We came across this simple idea to create your own firework art using just toilet roll tubes, black paper and paint on Danya Banya’s blog.

Start by putting different colours of paint on to a paper plate, it can be any colour you like. Using scissors, cut slits half way up the tubes from one end and the dip the cut end into the paint.

You are now ready to make your fireworks scene – by dabbing the tubes onto the black paper.

Looking for more ideas? Visit our Chinese New Year Pinterest board.