Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Photo Credit: Irum Shahid
Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival and Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese culture. A new year is welcomed with wishes for wealth and health, as last year is swept away. Families come together, grievances are forgiven, and gifts are exchanged.

In 2015, the Lunar New Year starts on February 19th, ringing in the Year of the Sheep. Preparations for Chinese New Year start weeks ahead, and the celebration traditionally lasts for two weeks, ending with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day.  

With noisemakers, lanterns, money envelopes and dumplings, we love celebrating Chinese New Year. And in the following posts, you can learn everything you wanted to know about the festival, as well as books to read, crafts and decorations to make for celebrating, and traditional foods to enjoy.

For a quick overview, check out the

Learn About the Spring Festival

Photo Credit: Jim Nix

A round up of books to learn about and celebrate Chinese New Year.

Learn about the special preparations and customs that start weeks prior to the festival. 

Find out the best, luckiest foods to eat to bring forth an auspicious new year.

Prepare for the Spring Festival with lots to make and do

Learn about the custom of giving lucky money envelopes and print your own.

Learn about the Kitchen God: print a coloring page of him for your kitchen, and make Nian Gao to appease him.

Make lucky word signs and spring couplet banners to decorate your doors and walls.

Make a Chinese noisemaker to frighten off the monster Nian.

Make a dragon craft from our round up.

Make and decorate with red Chinese lanterns.

Listen to the New Year song

Make a sheep craft to commemorate the Year of the Sheep.

15 Days of Celebrations

An overview of how New Year Day and the fifteen following days are celebrated.

Learn about the Day of Dispute on the 3rd day.

Welcome the God of Wealth and end the prohibitions on the 5th day.

Celebrate the Common Man's Birthday with longevity noodles on the 7th day.

Learn about the Jade Emperor's birthday, celebrated on the 9th day.

Celebrate the Lantern Festival on the 15th, and last day.

Ending the Lunar New Year celebrations with the Lantern Festival

Learn about the legend behind the Lantern Festival.

Make fun lanterns! Simple ones here, printable ones here, and using money envelopes here.

Print and solve lantern riddles.

Make and taste Tang Yuan.

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