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[Free Resources] Celebrate Chinese New Year with EducationCity!

[Free Resources] Celebrate Chinese New Year with EducationCity!

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a big holiday in China. Every year, people from all over the world come to China to take part in the traditional celebrations and customs associated with this holiday. With EducationCity’s free Chinese New Year resource packet, you can celebrate the Year of the Pig in your classroom! Your students will love the fact sheets, activities, and ThinkIts that discuss and explore the history and traditions of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is celebrated by more than 20 percent of the people in the world. It’s a time of new beginnings and positive thinking, where you leave the past behind and look forward to the good fortune that a fresh year will bring. In China, the celebrations can last up to 15 days and involve lots of eating, dancing, and fireworks. While you may not be able to celebrate for two weeks in your classroom, there are a few things you can do to welcome in the Chinese New Year with your students. In 2019, Chinese New Year’s Day is Tuesday, February 5. Check out these five fun and classroom-friendly Chinese New Year traditions:

  1. Learn about the Chinese zodiac: For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese zodiac has been an integral part of Chinese culture. The zodiac is made up of 12 different animals, each with its own set of special characteristics and attributes that have come to represent what the year will bring, depending on where the cycle falls. Chinese tradition says that the zodiac can help you predict your fortune for the year and help guide your decision-making. Explore the legend behinds the Chinese zodiac with your class, and learn what animal rules over the year that they were born.
  2. Celebrate turning a year older: Did you know you can have two birthdays in one year? As part of the Spring Festival, everyone in China, no matter what day his or her real birthday is, celebrates turning one year older. Renri, the seventh day of the Spring Festival, represents the day that all human life was created, thus it is everyone’s birthday. Celebrate this Chinese New Year tradition in your class by wishing everyone a happy birthday (and maybe seizing the opportunity for a class cupcake party).
  3. Clean up: Another treasured Chinese New Year holiday tradition involves everyone’s favorite pastime—cleaning! According to tradition, cleaning before the new year begins sweeps out the old, bad luck from the past year and makes room for the good fortune of the new year to come in. Encourage your students to spend 5 minutes or so cleaning out their desks or backpacks, recycling old papers and whatever else they may have managed to accumulate over the school year.
  4. Wear red: In China, the color red is very important when it comes to Chinese New Year. Legend says that in ancient times, a monster called Nian would appear on the first day of the new year and terrorize villages, but it was discovered that it could be warded off by fire, loud noises and the color red. Today, New Year’s celebrations in China incorporate fireworks, firecrackers, drums, and lots of red decorations and clothing. Red is also considered a lucky color in China, and wearing it during the festival supposedly brings good fortune. Encourage your students to wear red on Chinese New Year, or pass out red stickers so that everyone has a little luck on his or her shoulder.
  5. Stay positive: Along with traditions that bring good luck during the Chinese New Year, there are also some traditional taboos, or restrictions, to steer clear of during celebrations. One of these is to avoid saying negative things or “unlucky words” to avoid jinxing yourself at the start of the new year. Have your students be extra mindful of their words on Chinese New Year and avoid saying any ‘negative’ words for the day. You might even take it a step further and challenge them to spend the day saying as many positive things as they can. How many compliments can they give to their classmates? What are they grateful for in the new year?

There’s so much to celebrate with EducationCity during the month of February! Interested in learning more about how EducationCity can support instruction in your classroom? Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial today, and get unlimited access to EducationCity’s engaging online resources!