Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring festival is celebrated in many different countries around February every year. This year, it is celebrated on 5th February and we will be moving from the Year of the Dog to the Year of the Pig.
I have celebrated this festival in Vietnam (where it is known as Tet), China (4 years!) and Japan and in the U.K. – each country celebrates it in a quite a different way!
Usually people travel home to their families (in China it is known as the largest mass migration of humans in the world) and have from 3 days to 2 weeks off work to celebrate. Houses are decorated and tonnes of food is purchased and prepared to feed all of the guests. The first guest who visits in the New year is very important for the luck of that household n the year to come.
Do you know the order of the Chinese Zodiac? If not, check out this book, The Great Race which explains how the order of the animals was decided and why cats and mice don’t get along.
Another great book featuring Chinese New Year’s traditions is Dragon Dancer.
Teaching resources for Chinese New Year
Every year I have used some resources from the excellent teaching packs provided by the British Council.
British Council Teaching Pack for 2019: (Year of the Pig)
Their packs from previous years are also great:
(Year of the Dog) 2018
Year of the Rooster (2017)
Year of the Monkey (2016)
Many of the activities are generic so you can use them as required.
A video with the story of The Great Race can be seen on the British Council website for kids here.
There is also a nice animation of a Chinese kid talking about why they like Spring Festival here.
I have linked a few other articles with ideas or activities for Chinese New Year below: British Council, The Guardian Teacher Network, UK Ed Chat, Activity Village, Twinkl, Topmarks (NB: Twinkl and Activity Village charge for access to some resources, other links are all free)
This is the traditional song for New Year – you will hear this everywhere!
Children also sing this one:
Happy New Year everyone!
Thanks for reading!