Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chinese New Year begins!

Chinese Year 4709, February 3, 2011. It's the year of the Rabbit, a Yin (Positive) year. The date of Chinese New Year’s changes every year. It is a 15 day celebration, beginning on the first day of the new moon, and ends on the full moon. The celebration on the15th day is called the Lantern Festival. 

Chinese culture is amongst the oldest in the world. While the rest of the world is in the early years of but the third millennium, Chinese culture is in their fifth millennium. 

In Chinese astrology, every year is represented by an animal. The cycle is twelve years, with a different animal each year. This is the year of the "Rat".  According to Chinese astrology, it is a "Yang" or positive year. Every person is born under one of these animals that also dictates your personality and character. To find out more about your sign, see below:

Here are the Chinese Zodiac Characters and the year they represent:
Character: Yin-Yang  Years:
Tiger Yang 1926,1938,1950,1962,1974,1986,1998,2010,2022
Rabbit Yin 1927,1939,1951,1963,1975,1987,1999,2011,2023
Dragon Yang 1928,1940,1952,1964,1976,1988,2000,2012,2024
Snake Yin 1929,1941,1953,1965,1977,1989,2001,2013,2025
Horse Yang 1930,1942,1954,1966,1978,1990,2002,2014,2026
Sheep Yin 1931,1943,1955,1967,1979,1991,2003,2015,2027
Monkey Yang 1932,1944,1956,1968,1980,1992,2004,2016,2028
Rooster Yin 1933,1945,1957,1969,1981,1993,2005,2017,2029
Dog Yang 1934,1946,1958,1970,1982,1994,2006,2018,2030
Pig Yin 1935,1947,1959,1971,1983,1995,2007,2019,2031
Rat Yang 1936,1948,1960,1972,1984,1996,2008,2020,2032
Ox Yin 1937,1949,1961,1973,1985,1997,2009,2021,2033

 Chinese New Year’s or Spring Festival, is the biggest holiday in Chinese culture. It is celebrated with festivities, fireworks, brightly colored lights, special meals with family and gift giving. Like Christmas in the western world, most Chinese travel home to be with family for the new year celebration.

 What is the LANTERN FESTIVAL of Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the celebration. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. 
 The kids made lanterns for decoration in our school room.  These are super easy and wanted to share the directions and pictures of ours with you:


- Gold paper
- Tape
- Glue
- Paper clips
- Length of string or thin rope
  1. Paper Lanterns - Step 1 To make each one, first help your child fold a 4 1/4- by 5 1/2-inch piece of colored paper in half lengthwise and use scissors to make cuts about 1/2 inch apart along the crease, stopping about 1/4 inch from the paper's unfolded edges.
  2. Paper Lanterns - Step 2 Next, roll a 3 3/4- by 5 1/2-inch piece of gold paper (found in art supply and craft stores) widthwise into a tube and tape the ends together, overlapping them by about 1/2 inch. Unfold the colored paper and glue it around the tube so that its creases jut out slightly, as shown, securing it in place with paper clips while the glue dries. Finally, tape or glue a strip of matching colored paper across the top of the tube for a hanger. For a garland, slip a number of lanterns onto a length of string or thin rope, taping them in place to keep them from sliding.

We have gathered some coloring pages for you to print out, click HERE to open and print out. 
We also gathered Chinese New Year WORD posters for you to print out, click HERE and if you want to have the kids color these posters themselves then click HERE to print them.

Make sure to come back to our blog for more Chinese New Year crafts and party ideas to come!

Here are some recommended Chinese New Year books:

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