Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 31 this year, and marks the beginning of the Chinese year 4712. 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.
This year is the Year of the Horse. See a Chinese zodiac calendar. Try one of these fun Chinese New Year activities:
Year of the Horse paper cutting from Craftiments
Write and paint a Chinese horse character from Artchoo
Paper dragon from Teach Kids Art
Paper Plate drums from Crafts and Art for Children
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.
A version of this post originally appeared on Bookboard.
Lantern photo: Planetforward.ca