Chinese New Year - Year Of The Horse

Kick it into gear with Chinese New Year!

The celebrations start right here,
Let’s light the lantern and begin to cheer,
With festivals, music, dancing and food,
It’s sure to put you in the mood,
Fireworks soar and light up the sky,
As the dancing dragon passes on by,
Make a wish and make it clear,
Tradition is alive with Chinese New Year!

chinese-new-year-dragon

History
Chinese New Year is the largest and most traditional of all celebrations in China also known as the ‘Spring Festival’. The celebration dates back for centuries. It goes so far back that the actual date of when it began is unknown. Chinese New Year is celebrated in many different ways and begins with the first new moon continuing on for 15 days until the full moon. The celebration is strongly influenced by various customs and traditions. Plants and flowers are a very important element in New Year celebrations as is the colour red which symbolizes fire and is believed to drive away bad luck and provide safety. Celebrations often begin with cleansing the home to sweep away evil spirits making room for incoming good luck before it’s time to decorate with paper cut-up couplets, Chinese lanterns and covering the windows and doors in red paper or paint. Festivals , dancing, music, lion parades, cultural activities and dragon parades are just some of the activities celebrated by the Chinese communities.

Chinese Crackers

Trivia
Q. What fruit, representing luck and prosperity, is traditionally the most popular to hand out for the Chinese New Year?

A. Tangerines

Q. Traditionally made of silk, paper, and bamboo, these are the highlight of the Chinese lantern festival?

A. Dragons

Q.What calendar determines the date of the Chinese New Year?

A. The Lunar Calendar

Q.True or false: The cat is one of the 12 animals on the Chinese calendar?

A. False

Q. According to tradition, who do families visit on the first day of Chinese New Year?

A. The oldest members of the family

Q. What is the capital of China?

A. Beijing

Q. What is the official language of China?

A. Mandarin

Q. What is the most common drink in China?

A. Tea

Chinese New Year ActivitiesActivity
Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration in China.
Paper Lanterns are an effective way to show Chinese tradition and can be made with the following:
Coloured paper, scissors and tape or staples.
Take a piece of paper and cut a 2cm strip off from along the top to use as a handle
Fold the paper in half length ways and cut 2cm strips along the folded line without cutting to the edge
Open the paper and stick the top and the bottom together
Finally stick the handle at the top of the lantern from one side to the other
These can be hung all around the room… remember red represents luck!

Food glorious food

Serve lucky food like noodles, fish, manderins and oranges as well as fortune cookies and Chinese tea.

Music for the new year

Special songs such as ‘Gongxi, Gongxi’ which means smile at everyone for good wishes, hope and expectations for the new year.

Fireworks

Head out side if your community has a fireworks display otherwise be sure to watch them as a group on the television reminiscing about times of when each person has seen live firework displays.
Pick up sticks – chop stick style!

Get yourself a bunch of chop stick and hold them in your hand letting them fall into a pile on the table, players then take turns at picking up a stick. The aim of the game is to not move any other sticks when you are picking them up, if you do it is the other persons turn. The person with the most sticks at the end is the winner

What is your Birth Year?

Are you a rat, a dog or a horse? Get yourself a print out of the Chinese Zodiac from the internet and look up the year each person was born to see if they fit the personality traits of their birth sign.