Today is the most important day in the traditional Chinese calendar and there are many myths and traditions surrounding the day dating back from centuries old! This year is the Year of the Dragon.
EducationCity.com’s Activity of the Day
As it is a Chinese New Year theme in the EducationCity.com office today, we have been having lots of fun with World Dress Up Asia! With this activity, the children have the option of clicking on China to learn more facts about the country and dress a doll up in traditional Chinese attire. Once the dolls are dressed, the kids can print out their dressed dolls and colour them in! Not only is this a great way to learn more about other cultures and traditions, it is also extremely fun! To play this game go to Foundation 2.
About Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year, is also known as the Spring Festival as it celebrates the start of new life and the season of sowing and ploughing. The festivities of the New Year start on the first day of the lunar month and continue until the 15th day of the lunar month. This is why it is known across Asia as the Lunar New Year. The festival ends with the spectacular Lantern Festival.
Chinese New Year is an exciting time for children as on New Year’s Day they wake up to find a red envelope under their pillows, filled with money and sweets, which have been left by their parents and grandparents! They then spend a lot of time visiting friends and family, participating in specific traditional events.
The Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is a spectacular event which marks the end of the New Year. The lanterns are hand-painted with historical or legendary scenes, people then hang these from their windows of their houses in order to catch the light of the full moon. There is also a dragon dance with a dragon made of traditional Chinese materials such as paper, silk and bamboo.
Alongside the dragon, they also have the popular traditional lion’s dance where performers from Chinese guild and associations mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume and visits houses and shops in their community to perform the dance.
Typically, on the eve of Chinese New Year, families gather and have a large traditional meal with many varieties of food, depending on the region of China they are from. In the South they typically have Nian Gao ( a sticky rice pudding) and in the North, Jiaozi (steamed dumplings).