Happy Lunar New Year and wishing you luck in the Year of the Tiger to everyone in our community who celebrates. Even if you don’t personally celebrate this holiday, you may be wondering how to bring the festivities into your home or classroom. If you are interested to learn more and teach students about the unique traditions and customs of the Spring Festival, read on!
1) Clean your house and classroom
Traditionally, Chinese New Year begins with housecleaning to get rid of bad luck. Practice this custom and encourage your kids to help clean the house (or at least, their room). Okay, so this one may not be as much fun, but we bet parents and teachers will appreciate it!
2) Decorate your home and school
Now that everything is clean and tidy, try making your own decorations and incorporate the lucky colour red. Make a red paper lantern for the lantern festival (held 15 days after Lunar New Year). These simple paper crafts are both fun and pretty and mark the end of the festival.
3) Try learning and writing calligraphy
Try your hand at the art of calligraphy, using a paintbrush and these printables. This can also be used as décor for your home and school.
4) Cook lucky treats to feast on
The “reunion dinner” is a big tradition for visiting with family. Try cooking a simple dumpling recipe like potstickers for a family dinner. If making the dough by hand seems daunting, you can find wonton wrappers at most grocery stores, which will help make the process as easy as it is tasty! Cooking tip: seal wonton wrappers used as dumplings this way with a little water along the edge and crimping, then steam them for 6 minutes after frying the bottom edge.
5) Play games with family
After you feast with family, try playing games together. Play dominos, cards, or Mahjong – You may already be familiar with a version of Mahjong on computers, but did you know that dominos and playing cards came from China too?
6) Make a trivia game
Try making a quiz to teach students about this special holiday. If you are looking for inspiration, check out our recent blog with answers to popular questions.
7) Read books to learn about Lunar New Year
Books are a wonderful way to celebrate diversity and introduce children to other cultures. Read some of these books from Scholastic about Lunar New Year!
8) Watch a live lion dance celebration virtually
Festivities with fireworks are a large part of this holiday, as historians believe black powder (gunpowder), which is used to make them, were invented in China sometime in or just before the 10th century. For those who want to watch live celebrations, the lion dance will be performed on February 5, 2022 from 12pm – 3pm and it will be shared virtually by the Toronto Chinatown BIA. You can also tune in at 7pm EST to want the Lunar New Year keepsake video.
Wishing you and your family a prosperous and healthy Year of the Tiger!
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