February Parent Zone 2011

Celebrate Chinese New Year

New Year’s day as we know it has come and gone, but we’re just getting geared up to celebrate!  The Chinese New Year is arguably the biggest holiday celebrated among people of Chinese heritage.  Although it is celebrated in winter, it is often referred to as the spring festival because it ushers in the coming of spring.  Families get together, friends reunite, and celebrations of new life and new beginnings abound.

You can celebrate this year with your family by adopting some traditional activities, and by coming up with some new traditions of your own.

Some traditional activities include

  • Cleaning the house
  • Getting a haircut
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Watching fireworks or a parade (with a dragon, of course!)
  • Decorating with red and gold colors
  • Making and eating a favorite family meal
  • Getting together for a family reunion

Some new traditions could include

  • Looking at family photos
  • Making crafts like lanterns or origami envelopes
  • Cooking well-loved family recipe
  • Making a Chinese dragon puppet
  • Visiting friends and wishing luck in the new year
  • Figuring out in what year you were born on the Chinese Zodiac

Whatever you do to celebrate, may the best of luck be with you and your family during the upcoming year.  And may fook (the Chinese word for “fortune”) shine down upon us all.
Fooksymbol

Other Links to Explore

Chinese New Year for Kids

http://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-new-year.html

Asian Crafts for Kids

http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/chineseasianjapaneseartscraftsideaskids.html

Celebrating Chinese New Year

http://familyfun.go.com/parties/celebrating-chinese-new-year-705260/

Books:

New Clothes for New Year’s Day
by Hyun-joo Bae
newclothesnewyearsday

Sam and the Lucky Money
by Karen Chinn
samandluckymoney

Happy New Year!  Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts’Ai!
by Demi
happynewyear

Celebrating Chinese New Year
by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
celebratingchinesenewyear

D is for Dragon Dance
by Ying Chang Compenstine
disfordragon

This Next New Year
by Janet S. Wong
thisnextnewyear

Legend of the Chinese Dragon
by Marie Sellier
legendchinesedragon

Bringing in the New Year
by Grace Lin
bringinginthenewyear

Holidays Around the World:
Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons and Lanterns
by Carolyn Otto
holidaysaroundworldchinesenewyear

My First Chinese New Year
by Karen Katz
myfirstchinesenewyear

This Month’s Craft:  Noisemakers and Recycled Statues

Fun with bottlecaps

Crafting noisemakers and recycled statues is very simple and fun! You will need:

  • a sturdy stick from your yard, about a foot (12 inches) long
  • twine
  • plenty of bottlecaps
  • a soda can
  • various odds and ends to decorate your statue with
  • a glue gun (and an adult to help you with it!)
  • a nail to poke holes in the bottlecaps

Use your creativity!

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