Denna had chosen China for her next country to notebook and when we started looking for resources I realized that the Chinese New Year was just a week away!
China and South Korea now both use the Gregorian calendar, but the traditional holidays and festivals still revolve around the lunarsolar calendar. The largest festival of the year happens on the Lunar New Year in both countries.
Today we took all morning and just learned about the Chinese New Year. Tomorrow will be dedicated to Seollal, aka the Korean New Year.
Learn more about the Chinese New Year
We started out the morning by watching Ni Hao Kai Lan – Season 1 Episode 10 is all about Chinese New Year.
Next we read about the history and traditions of the celebrations in our China books. We also watching some videos and browsed several websites.
We also learned how to say Happy New Year in Chinese:
新年快乐 Xin Nian Kuai Le
(mandarin – literally “new year happy”)
恭喜发财 Gong Hei Fat Choi
(cantonese – means congratulations and grow wealth)
- Learn about the customs, history, and more at Top Marks
- If you have Amazon Prime you can watch Ni Hao Kai Lan “Happy Chinese New Year!” – a cute Nick Jr. cartoon
- Great explanations and pictures at China Family Adventure
- How Chinese New Year Works (How Stuff Works)
- Recipes, greetings, wallpapers – at The Holiday Spot
- Gorgeous pictures and information at China Travel
- Chinese New Year myth story (video)
- The Story of Nian (video)
Free printables to celebrate the Chinese New Year
We found a lot of fun printables! Denna made the traditional red envelope that is usually filled with money and given to children.
Gaius was fascinated with the dragon and lion dances and requested a coloring page and craft based on the fun dragons!
- Free Chinese New Year coloring pages
- Printables and activity ideas from Activity Village
- A free printable pack from The Pinay Homeschooler
- Toddler/preschool pack from Royal Baloo
- Great printable masks, banners, and more at SparkleBox
- Free clipart to create your own projects!
2014 is the year of the horse
The kids already knew which Chinese zodiac they were born in, so we discussed how 2014 is the year of the horse. We printed out a calendar for the year to put on our fridge, and made a horse mask and paper model.
- Year of the Horse red envelopes
- 2014 Horse printable calendar
- Chinese horse paper model
- Chinese Zodiac wheel
- A Minecraft paper horse to assemble
- Year of the Horse coloring pages
Craft ideas for celebrating on January 31st
Decorate your house and join in the festivities! We made a drum (with Korean won coins instead of beads), paper lanterns, stick-puppet dragons, masks, and cards in preparation for the festivities next week.
- Make a Chinese lantern – with free zodiac printables too! (TpT – free but login required)
- Another Chinese lantern – this one with a video!
- A very cool egg carton dragon craft
- Some paper plate Chinese drums
- Year of the Horse crafts at DLTK
- Make a stick dragon to dance with!
Other countries that we have studied:
What we are using to study China (post to come!):
- Expedition Earth (World Geography) $$
- TIME for kids – destination China
- China Unit Study board on Pinterest
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