Our school embraces diversity through multiple international cultural celebrations, one being the Chinese New Year. We had lots of fun participating in a variety of favorite works to help celebrate the occasion, including reading historical books and sharing photos, various art projects, tracing pictures at the light box, pin-pricking silhouettes of different cultural objects, and much more. Each activity helps our friends learn about the history behind this special holiday, along with developing a deeper appreciation for it’s cultural significance.
A few fun facts about Chinese New Year:
- It is the most important and longest holiday celebrated in China.
- The New Year celebration spans over 15 days.
- The New Year date is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar and falls on the second new moon after winter solstice (between Jan. 21-Feb. 19), so the date of the holiday will change each year.
- Year of the Yang. Each year has a significant animal representation. 2015 is the “year of the sheep”, or “year of the goat” (the confusion stems from the Chinese character “yang”, which can translate in colloquial Chinese as either sheep or goat). The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animal signs, each representing one year in a 12-year cycle, beginning Chinese New Year’s Day.
- You can wish others a Happy New Year by saying “Xin Nian Kuai Le” in Mandarin or “San Nin Faai Lok” in Cantonese.
- Red is the lucky color of the celebration. One might see an abundance of red lanterns/decorations adorning the streets of China this time of year.
- Celebrated through traditional dragon dances, parades, fairs, lavish dinners, family reunions, and gift exchanges.
- Each day has its own special celebration, for instance, Day 15 is known as the “Lantern Festival“, where red Chinese lanterns are released into the sky.
All information gathered from the following websites: