Our family LOVES to celebrate Chinese New Years!!! I love the baby photos of Gandalf in little Asian outfits. Especially the black braid on the hat. My little blonde children looked so adorable wearing “new clothes” for the new year! And it was such a blessing to live near Little Saigon, where I could find cute little outfits and red envelopes. Celebrating the Lunar New Year is so much fun! And I love the chance to teach my children about different countries and traditions. If our children can grow up learning, and admiring, other cultures I think it will also teach them about love and tolerance. It makes it harder to look down people for doing things differently, when you have been taught to admire differences since you were young. And my children might end up living abroad someday as a missionary.
I want to share 10 ways your family can celebrate the New Year. Chinese New Year isn’t always in January. I have to google the date every year because it goes off the Lunar Calendar. Now you don’t have to celebrate with all ten of these ideas. Just do what works for your family. The idea is to build fun family memories and to help our children appreciate all cultures and traditions.
10 Ways Families can Celebrate Chinese New Years
- Clean Your Home. I know this list isn’t starting off very exciting. But before the New Year, you want to have your home picked up. Because my children know what to expect with this holiday they are more inclined to help tidy up to get ready for this holiday. And I love that part. According to tradition whatever you do ON the New Year that will depict how the following year will go for you. So you don’t want to actually clean on the New Years Day, because who wants to clean all year. And especially make sure you don’t sweep, as you might sweep away your fortune. I really wish having a clean home ON the New Year really meant my home will be clean all year long.
- Haircuts. Maybe it’s because I am a hairdresser, but I love this idea! Chinese New Year is a big deal and to prepare or to make it special everyone wants to look their best. And if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that my kids really need a haircut before the new year.
- Take Oranges to Your Friends and Neighbors. Oranges are a symbol for Good Luck. I’ve also heard they are associated with gold and wealth. Taking fresh fruit to your friends or neighbors can be a fun way for families to celebrate with others. I love the great prices on oranges this time of year. We usually have some in our home anyways. You can also have some out to decorate.
- Using Chopsticks to eat a Delicious Dinner. Okay, Chinese Food is probably the best part of this list! Whether you want to make something or pick some thing up, I think we can all agree Chinese Food is amazing. And I love eating with chopsticks! And sometimes my kids are more willing to try something new if we are using chopsticks. You can buy some in bulk or even get some nice ones. I had a really great set, but I think I lost them in one of our moves. And they have chopsticks that are great for kids (or adults) who are still learning. We love making Sweet and Sour Chicken and fried rice for dinner.
- Make Your Own Egg Rolls. Our family loves making our own egg rolls together. My second son really seems to love helping me with this. He’s gotten pretty good at rolling them them up. It’s a great way to sneak in a ton of vegetables as they cook down. Just the other day my son asked when we would be making these again. (Check out my Facebook page to see our FB Live video)
- Learn about the Zodiac Year. Every year the Lunar Calendar celebrates the Zodiac of that year. I have children that are born the year of the Rooster, Rat, Tiger and the Snake. It’s fun to learn about the year that you were born in or about the upcoming year. And it’s great to appreciate different strengths of each Zodiac. Apparently there are good qualities in rats. I love the optimism.
- Make Lanterns. I share a simple way to decorate for the New Year. I love paper lanterns for parties. They also make for great decorations for the New Year. But we also like to make some lanterns out of construction paper. My kids love helping with the decorations. And bonus they can work on their fine motor skills.
- Red Envelopes. Traditionally elders give their younger family member red envelopes with money inside. What kid isn’t going to love this holiday? Another reason my kids don’t mind helping tidy up our home. You can purchase them online or sometimes depending on where you live you can find them at your grocery store. Sometimes I really miss living in California.
- Mums. Yellow Mums are so beautiful. And I have to appreciate holidays with beautiful flowers. Mums are great for decorating or giving to your loved ones. But typically you give or decorate with potted mums, not fresh cut flowers. So pick up a new plant to spread a little cheer this holiday season. I believe they symbolized joy and perfection.
- Books. Every holiday is better with books. And children books are a great way to teach children about different cultures. We love our book D is for Dragon Dance. It goes through the alphabet explaining traditions around Chinese New Year. (I love books that work through the alphabet) We also love the Empty Pot and 5 Chinese Brothers. My son loves the book Ping (I found it at the Goodwill) and I want to read Tikki Tikki Tembo.
You can see there are a lot of beautiful traditions around the Lunar New Year. The probably the most important is to gather with your family and be together. So whether you are rolling egg rolls or reading the Empty Pot, take time and be present with your family. And if you are lucky enough to live around Chinatown or Little Saigon, be sure to visit with your family.
Wishing you love and luck in the new year!!!
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