Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival), is one of the most celebrated festivals around the world! It’s a time for families in China to come together and exchange gifts, eat special dishes and decorate their homes as they mark the beginning of a new year. In 2024, the Chinese New Year will begin on February 10, 2024 and it will welcome the Year of the Dragon – a symbol of authority, prosperity and good fortune
Chinese New Year is filled with rich traditions and is a great opportunity for children to learn and experience China’s rich culture. Read along for a variety of engaging activities you can do with your kids – these will not only immerse them in a new culture, but will also contribute in life-building skills!
1. Deep clean your home
Chinese families often participate in spring cleaning – a tradition that welcomes a fresh start by getting rid of old things to make room for new, positive energy. Get your littles involved by turning it into a game (who can tidy up their room the fastest!?) or make a cleaning checklist together.
Little tidbit: There should be no cleaning on the first day of Chinese New Year or you might just sweep away your good luck! Make sure to finish up all your cleaning before February 10.
2. Create your own decorationsAfter spring cleaning is done, get crafty and decorate your home! There are many hands-on activities such as creating colorful dragon puppets and New Year banners that are a fun way to add a festive touch to your home.
Little tidbit: Chinese place a big emphasis on good luck! Add these good luck symbols to your crafts to bring in good fortune:,
- Chinese good luck character: "福"
- Chinese good luck numbers: 6, 8, 9
- Chinese good luck colors: red and yellow
3. Have a lucky dinnerWhen it comes to New Year’s traditions in China, one of the most significant (and delicious!) aspects is the food. It's a tradition for friends and family to come together and hold a "lucky dinner" with special dishes including fish, spring rolls, dumplings, chicken and noodles. In Chinese culture, each dish has its own special meaning and is believed to help bring in good fortune in the new year!
Little tidbit: Did you know that each Chinese New Year dish holds a different meaning?
- Fish signifies prosperity.
- Spring rolls represent good fortune.
- Dumplings bring in wealth.
- Chicken symbolizes unity.
- Noodles signify longevity.
4. Prepare and give out lucky red envelopes
The tradition of red envelopes ( "hongbao") is one of the most exciting parts of Chinese New Year, especially for children! Get red envelopes and fill them with small treats, like coins or chocolates. This activity encourages kids to learn the value of giving and sharing good fortune.
Little tidbit: Prepare your envelopes in time for your lucky dinner – this is when families traditionally hand them out.
5. Learn about the Chinese zodiac
Chinese New Year is the perfect time to introduce children to the Chinese zodiac signs. In China, each year is represented by one of the twelve different animals of the Chinese zodiac and each animal carries unique personality traits. Find out which animal corresponds to yours and your little’s birth year and learn about the special qualities associated with your sign.
Little tidbit: Download and print our free Chinese zodiac poster and display it in your little’s room.