Chinese New Year (cultural/religious)
The traditional Chinese lunar year begins at sunset on the day of the second new moon following the winter solstice. It can begin any time from Jan. 10-Feb. 19 and a special celebration marked by fireworks, a lantern festival, and dragon parades. As part of the new year tradition, people also clean their houses, pay off debts, and give children money in red envelopes. The Chinese New Year, Year of the Snake, begins on Sunday, February 10 this year.
Explain to students that the ancient Chinese used a lunar calendar that is grouped into sets of 12, with each year represented by an animal. The animals, called zodiac signs, are believed to have certain characteristics that are shared with people born under those signs. Have them compare and contrast the Chinese zodiac to the Western zodiac that people interested in astrology are familiar with. Point them to the Horoscope in your newspaper, for starters. Then allow them to do further research. For fun, ask students to write their own newspaper horoscopes for a specific day of the week.
For more information on the Chinese New Year here are some sites to visit: http://education2.uvic.ca/Faculty/mroth/438/CHINA/chinese_new_year.html
Here’s a fun craft you can make from FamilyFun Magazine and MCT
Feb. 10 marks the start of Chinese New Year; it’s the first day of the Year of the Snake. Celebrate by crafting a slithery reptile that can wiggle like a real serpent.
YOU WILL NEED
- 6 bathroom tissue tubes
- Acrylic paint in several colors
- Hole punch
- Pipe cleaners cut into five 3-inch pieces
- Googly eyes
- Red ribbon for the tongue
1. Paint the tubes with a snakeskin pattern. Let dry. Cut the ends of the tubes into points by lightly flattening the ends.
2. Use a hole punch to make a hole in each point, except for the ones that will form the front of the head and tip of the tail.
3. Overlap two of the tube ends, lining up the four holes, then insert a length of pipe cleaner through the holes (from belly to back). Bend the ends flat against the tube to secure it. Repeat to assemble the snake.
5.With tacky glue, add googly eyes and a red ribbon tongue.
Did you know? According to Chinese folklore, the color red scares away evil spirits. Be sure to add some to your snake! — FamilyFun magazine