Learning Chinese New Year Celebrations

This week we are learning about the Chinese New Year “Year Of The Dog 2018”. The word GUNG HAY FAT CHOY means best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.

This joyous festival may last many days. It’s a special time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors, and thanking the gods for their blessings.

The Chinese add a year to their  age on New Year’s Day, regardless of their original birth month. This considered their grand birthday celebration.

Lunar Calendar

Chinese New Year does not come at the same time every year. The date may fall any time between mid  January and mid February. Chinese festivals are celebrated according to dates on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar. It is called the Lunar Calendar because the length of the months are decided by the cycles of the moon.

Each year is given the name of an animal. It is named after one of the 12 animal symbols on the Chinese zodiac that are date back thousand of years. Each animal year have a specific qualities. Chinese learn their future and fortunes by the animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese families make great preparations for this special time of the year. Families settle their debts, buy new clothes, clean the house and prepare a food before new year.

Homes are filled with flowers and fruits. Families display pyramids of oranges and apples. An apple is symbol of good luck for the new year. The Chinese believe red and orange are colors of joy. Red and orange scrolls seen every where. The Chinese characters on the scrolls carry messages of Good Health, Luck, Long Life, Prosperity, Happiness.

Here comes the lion dancers. They’re dancing to the beat of a giant drum. Dancers carry the Golden Dragon who leads the parade at night. The Chinese dragon was the emblem of the Chinese emperors. It is a symbol of strength and goodness.

I showed this very cute pop-up books to my daughter written by Mary Man-Kong and Joan Holub. She was fascinated by the colorful pages and the stories about Chinese Dragon Dance and the many activities before and after the celebration.


This page of the book is her favorite. Its colorful and with lots of kids having fun while watching the Dragon Dance Parade.

This is a short clip of my daughter flipping the book.


Another page of the book showing the traditional long noodles serve during the festival.

They call this hong baos a shiny little red envelope use to put money as a symbols of good luck.

Chinese believed that fire crackers will scare away lazy and evil spirits!


Families prepare a delicious dumplings, steamed buns, pork dumplings, spareribs, fish and steam vegetables.

Chinese make it sure they clean and sweep the floor to welcome the new year.

A page of the book with the Year Of The Dog wheel or they call it Lunar Calendar


A red and orange scroll hangs in every houses that wishes prosperity.

This is a wonderful part of a Montessori cultural studies! Do you also celebrate Chinese New Year with your family? You can share your thoughts and ideas in my blog.

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