Chinese New Year Activities

The Chinese New Year seasonal pages will provide you with great resources for a number of topics related to this most important Chinese holiday. Ideas within this section include resources such as calendars, puppets, food, and more.

Your creativity can help other teachers. Submit your Chinese New Year activity today. Don't forget to include additional resources-documents, web sites, or a photo.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or 'Spring Festival' traditionally begins on the first day of the year on the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th. The Chinese New Year is the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. Each year is designated by one of twelve animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare/Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Please Note: This holiday is celebrated by several asian countries, including China, as the Lunar New Year, and therefore calling it the Chinese New Year (as is common in many western countries) is somewhat exclusive and may be offensive to some

Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) dates:
January 28, 2017: Year of the Rooster
February 16, 2018: Year of the Dog
February 5, 2019: Year of the Pig
January 25, 2020: Year of the Rat
February 12, 2021: Year of the Ox
February 1, 2022: Year of the Tiger
January 22, 2023: Year of the Rabbit
February 10, 2024: Year of the Dragon
January 29, 2025: Year of the Snake
February 17, 2026: Year of the Horse
February 6, 2027: Year of the Sheep (Goat/Ram)
January 26, 2028: Year of the Monkey
February 13, 2029: Year of the Rooster (Chicken)
February 3, 2030: Year of the Dog

Check our February Events Calendar for more important dates
  • Chinese New Year LampsChinese "Good Wishes" Posters Grades Various
    This is a great activity to help lead into a Chinese New Year unit.
    * Red construction paper (any size, larger sizes are best)
    * Black paint (liquid)
    * Water
    * Paint Brushes
    * Simple Chinese characters with positive meanings (can be easily searched on the internet) [optional]
    * Glitter - preferably gold [optional]
    1. Water down the paint a little, so the texture is more like ink.
    2. Have the students choose their favorite Chinese character. Or, if you prefer, students can write a positive message in English ("Happy New Year" and "Good Fortune" are good ones.) Either way, the style will look similar to Asian calligraphy. Have students paint their character or message onto the paper.
    3. Once the paint is dry, have students 'trace' over their message with a thin line of school glue. The students, or you, can then sprinkle glitter over the glue. (This step can be left out if you prefer not to use glitter.)
    Alternately: Instead of writing a message or a Chinese character, students could paint scenery in a Chinese style. This is a great activity to help lead into a Chinese New Year unit.
    Submitted by: Patricia Pruim - Iskut, BC, Canada

The Teacher's Corner Resources Be sure to check out our extensive January & February lesson plans, bulletin boards and teacher resources.

Chinese New Year - Year of the DragonAnimals of the Chinese Zodiac Grades K-2
In this lesson plan, students will learn about the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Printable worksheets, maps, crafts, and more.

Chinese Inventions and the Chinese New Year Grade 2
Second graders discover several of many Chinese inventions. They learn about contributions the Chinese have made in fields of technology, science, textiles, games and toys, and the arts. Then students prepare for and celebrate the Chinese New Year, China's biggest celebration. This is a three week unit.

The Chinese New Year Starts Today Grades Various
Lesson Plans, Web Links, and Text to use for the start of the Chinese New Year.

Brought to you by Scholastic. (A resource from 2005.)

Everyday Edit
A DOL activity from Education World that is about Chinese New Year.

Happy Chinese New Year!
A scavenger hunt for students to complete. (It has not been updated for 2006, so you may have to do some modifications.)

Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year Grades K-2
In this lesson, the students will learn about the major differences between eastern and western dragons and discover why the eastern dragons are associated with the Chinese New Year. They will hear a story about how the dragons came to rule over the major rivers of China. In the second lesson they will learn about the New Years parade and discover that firecrackers are set off to drive off evil spirits, particularly one called Nian.

The Teacher's Corner Resources This indicates resources located on The Teacher's Corner.

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