Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, will begin on 28th January 2017. It is the main Chinese festival of the year and it is not a religious event. As the Chinese use the lunar calendar for their festivals the date of Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February. Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest celebration of the year.
Outside of Asia, London hosts the biggest celebrations, so there will be plenty to do if you can get to the capital!
If your child is showing an interest in Chinese New Year here are some ways that you could develop that interest further whilst supporting their learning.
• To support your child’s mathematical development you could look at and discuss some of the patterns on Chinese New Year decorations: recreate these patterns in different ways e.g. red and yellow pegs, red and yellow buttons, red and gold collage, red and gold printing or create your own patterns
• Look at and talk about some Hong Bao – Red Lucky Money envelopes. Carefully open one up so that the children can see how it was made and try to make your own Hong Bao.
• Look at and talk about Chinese script, look at and discuss the differences in character shapes. Talk about reading the vertical script from top to bottom. Create some Hui Chun messages for friends and family.
Chinese New Year facts – did you know…?
- The Chinese New Year calendar follows a 12 year pattern:
- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
- Chinese New Year’s Eve is a chance for families to gather together for an annual reunion dinner
- Roughly a sixth of the world will observe Chinese New Year
- Red clothing is usually worn to scare away the mythical monster Niam
- Children are traditionally given money in red envelopes to bring them good fortune and happiness.
How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year? Let us know on our social media pages!