Chinese New Year is officially celebrated this Friday, so why not add some of these holiday activities to your schedule.
The Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year and is the most celebrated holiday on the Chinese calendar.
The 15-day festival is celebrated by a quarter of the world’s population with symbolic traditions and rituals that celebrate family, renewal, prosperity and good fortune.
There is nothing better than learning about different cultures and traditions, especially when the whole family is involved.
Here are different activities for all ages:
Wear and decorate things in red
It’s a great start to your Lunar New Year festivities – red is the symbol of wealth and good fortune in China.
Image – Unsplash
By dressing in red, you automatically set the mood for the day, time, or lesson. It is also a good initial talking point to help your children understand this important festival.
It’s also a color that’s considered a weapon to scare away monsters, so wearing red pajamas to bed on Chinese New Year’s Day might be a good idea for any kid who is afraid of the dark.
Create origami art
Origami is the ancient craft of paper folding, its origins are disputed as being from Japan or China nearly 1,000 years ago.
“Ori” means fold and “gami” means paper.
In China, children learn origami from their parents and historically create dolls and animal figures that were thrown into the river to drive away evil spirits.
Visit YouTube for origami tutorials suitable for all ages and abilities.
Children discover other cultures and countries through hands-on activities. Origami is therefore a fantastic (and inexpensive) way to immerse your children in different traditions.
Cooking traditional dishes
Food is a very important part of Lunar New Year celebrations.
Usually, families would get together and have big feasts, offering their food first to the gods before returning home.
Image – Unsplash
Why not cook up your favorite Chinese-inspired dish, like dumplings or noodles – perfect for all ages.
Or, you can try as many of these foods as you want – each one has its own meaning:
- Bamboo shoots, spring rolls, oranges or seaweed: the richness
- Chicken: happiness and marriage
- Dried tofu: happiness
- Eggs: Fertility
- Fish served whole: Prosperity
- Garlic chives from China: immortelle, a long life
- Lychee nuts: close family ties
- Noodles or peanuts: a long life
- Seeds: Having a large number of children
- Mandarins: Luck
Learn to write your name in Hanzi
Chinese characters, also known as Hanzi, are the oldest continuously used writing system in the world.
Hanzi is the abbreviation for “Han characters”, these logograms date back to the Shang dynasty around 1200-1500 BC.
The total number of Chinese characters to appear in a dictionary is in the tens of thousands, although many are obsolete and unused.
A university graduate who is fluent in written Chinese and averages between three and four thousand characters – more is needed for specialized fields.
There is a wealth of history and beauty in the characters of Hanzi, and Chinese calligraphy is a common art form loved around the world.
Find out how to spell your name with an online translator such like chinese free.
Online Martial Arts Lessons
Whether you’re a fan of Joe Wick’s costumed Friday training classes or not, this Friday maybe it’s time to try something new – like a martial arts class.
There are many free courses on YouTube to choose from, which vary by age group and skill level.
Shaolin Kung Fu was born and developed in Shaolin Buddhist Temple in Songshan Mountain, Henan Province, China.
During the 1500 years of Shaolin Kung Fu’s development, it has become one of the greatest schools of Kung Fu, and many other styles have been created or inspired based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
Watch a movie
Movies are a great way to entertain and engage kids without making them feel like they’re in school.
Image – Unsplash
Some good movies include:
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a PG13 which presents an international cast of actors of Chinese origin.
The story follows a rebellious young woman who secretly trained to become a warrior and steals the sword of the legendary master Li Mu Bai, but seeing her power, Bai decides to offer her a chance to become his apprentice.
- Kung Fu Panda is an iconic cartoon following Po the panda as he embarks on his martial arts dream.
Wellness comedy is a PG and while it can go much further, it highlights various elements of Chinese culture such as fireworks and Kung Fu – watch in Mandarin with subtitles in English for more difficulty.
- Last Train Home is a PG-rated documentary – it examines the lives of Chinese migrant workers from rural areas who travel to big cities for work.
Over 130 million Chinese migrant workers return to their home villages for Chunjie each year; the biggest phenomenon of human migration in the world.
Director Lixin Fan follows the Zhangs, a couple who left their newborn daughter in her hometown to find work in Guangzhou for several years.
The earliest form of dominoes was found in China and has been dated to AD 1120.
However, many Chinese believe that the domino game was invented much earlier by a soldier hero named Hung Ming who lived between AD 181-234 and invented the domino game to amuse his soldiers.
Chinese dominoes are used in several tile-based games, namely tien gow, pai gow, tiu u and kap tai shap.
There are plenty of tutorials to play Chinese dominoes.