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Chinese New Year: Ideas for celebrating Chinese New Years
Celebrating Chinese New Years
The days before Chinese New Year’s are spent thoroughly cleaning and decorating the home (often with red banners, as red is considered especially auspicious), preparing special foods, getting a haircut and mending old clothes. Everything is meant to look fresh and new to set the tone of the coming year.
Red is said to be the luckiest color and most celebrants decorate their homes with red banners and dress in red for the celebrations.
Ideas for celebrating:
Host a Chinese potluck and invite your friends and family over to celebrate the Chinese New Year with you. Be sure to decorate your home with red!
Make up a ‘Tray of Togetherness’ - the popular candy tray which consists of an wonderful variety of Chinese candies or make up your own version of a tray of togetherness.
Have the kids create a dragon and perform a dragon dance.
If there is a large Chinese community in your town or city, check to see what will be going on. Often dragon dances, parades and other festivities are scheduled and open to the public. Check your local listings or contact the local Chinese cultural center or cultural association. The bright and open celebrations are not to be missed!
Red paper scrolls - Chunlian are special Chinese couplets, often written on red paper, which are hung outside the front door of houses and businesses. The sayings are meant to bring luck and fortune to the dwelling for the coming year.
Red Packets - Hongbao, are filled with money and are given to children on Chinese New Year’s by parents, grandparents, friends and other relatives to symbolize luck and wealth. Making red packets is a fun family activity that is easy enough for even young kids and a couple of dollars put into each makes them a well-received gift. Check out the following page for directions on how to make them:
Paper Lanterns: The Spring Festival (Chinese New Year’s) lasts for 15 days and is marked at the end of it by the lantern festival (Yunxiao).
Celebrating the first full moon of the year, paper lanterns were traditionally carried into the streets for a community parade and were often accompanied by fabulous folk dances, including the dragon dance. Try making paper lanterns to hang around your home as part of your Chinese New Year’s celebrations. Directions can be found at:
Learn Chinese New Years Greetings:
- Kung Hei Fat Choi! - Wishing you prosperity
- Sun nien fai lok - Happy New Years
- Xin nian yu kuai - Happy New Year