Who doesn't love a celebration? This year we're ringing in the Year of the Rooster when we celebrate the Chinese New Year on January 28th. And while it's an important holiday in China both traditionally and economically, for us, it's a great time to learn about old traditions and celebrate new beginnings with our loved ones. The Chinese New Year dates back as early as 1400 B.C. and has traditions that have existed for thousands of years to bring luck and good fortune to the family and the home. While many traditions have been modernized in China and other Asian nations today, some traditions still have ties to ancient superstitions. These are a great way to introduce your family to a different culture and a unique holiday. Check out some of these family-friendly ways to bring good luck and auspicious fortune to you and your loved ones this Chinese New Year.
These little almond cookies are a Chinese New Year staple and symbolize coins and good financial fortune for the coming year. Make a batch or two to share with your loved ones or gift to others who you hope have a successful new year! Check out this recipe for Almond Cookies from Copy Kat Recipes to create your own batch.
Lighting firecrackers is said to ward off the evil spirits that may try to enter the onset of the New Year. Even if you're not superstitious, everyone loves firecrackers! While many places may not be firework-friendly, you can always do a fun sparkler show in the yard with the kids and take pictures to remember the occasion. It is said that staying up late to ring in the new year is good luck, and if the children are able to stay awake, it brings the parents all the more luck the later they are up!
Red is the color of luck and fortune: It's recommended to gift red envelopes of money to children, elders, and loved ones. The tradition of giving crisp new bills to start out the New Year, not only makes you feel amazing about sharing your own blessings of good fortune but also shows others how much you care. Even if you're not ready to shell out cash to your little ones, you can craft your own DIY red money envelopes using this fun tutorial from One Dog Woof and fill them with yummy chocolate coins!
One of the most integral parts of the Chinese New Year is cleansing the home of negative energy and evil spirits. The Chinese get a head-start on their spring cleaning to rid their home of any unwanted energy and get their year started off on the right foot. Check out some of our most amazing spring cleaning tips to start your year off fresh and tidy!
Teach even the youngest of your family members about the good fortune and exciting traditions of the Chinese New Year by creating a fun sensory experience using items they may not be super familiar with. Set up a sensory table with rice, chopsticks, Chinese food containers, coins, mini paper lanterns, bamboo, or other fun knickknacks. You can find items for them to explore and learn about in Asian grocery stores and talk about what each item is used for and symbolizes. Not only is it a great learning experience, but it's also a fun way to spend some time engaging in an immersive, kid-friendly activity.
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Often used to hold the small red envelopes gifted to children, the branches of cherry blossoms symbolize new life and the renewal of spring, as they are the first to blossom after the snow has melted. They're often used in Chinese New Year decor to celebrate the upcoming spring by placing them in simple vases or inspiring intricate artwork. So, why not create gorgeous, simple cherry blossom art for your home to keep you looking forward to warmer weather and exciting prospects? Check out this super simple craft from Alpha Mom to create at home!
Fortune cookies are one of the Chinese traditions we are the most familiar with here in the U.S., so why not make a batch of your own? Have fun creating fortunes for your friends and family to predict how their year will unfold. Check out this awesome recipe for waffle cone fortune cookies from Thirsty for Tea, or if you're looking for something with a little more longevity, try paper, or felt to create your "cookie" shapes.
Paper lanterns are often created with a riddle or joke on the inside meant to keep the reader guessing or laughing! They can also symbolize a bright future to come, so why not create some of your very own with your kids using their best jokes and riddles? Create your own paper lanterns using this awesome DIY from Oh Happy Day!
Long noodles = a long life! By slurping up delicious noodles on the New Year, it is thought to bring a long, happy life to the eater! Bonus points for finding the longest, unbroken noodle. Check out some of our favorite noodle recipes here.
You never head out to a Chinese New Year celebration empty handed! Mandarin oranges are often brought as a gift in honor of strong friendships and good fortune - though they are a yummy, healthy treat to share regardless of the time of year. Check out this awesome recipe from The Pleasure Monger to create some tangerine macaroons that would be an awesome hostess gift for your Lunar New Year celebration!