Celebrating Chinese New Year with EYR.

As Christmas comes to an end, thoughts of the New Year begin to surface. A popular New Year topic for most EYFS settings is Chinese New Year, an exciting festival and celebration for young children. We have prepared for the occasion by stocking up on a wide variety of Chinese New Year teaching resources and activities.

In 2016, the Chinese New Year festival begins on Monday 8th February. It marks the end of the Year of the Goat and the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. The Great Race story book explains how the years got their names.

The Great Race

We have gathered together a host of resources to help you celebrate this wonderful festival, from traditional costumes, lanterns, role play food and chopsticks, to display packs, books and lucky red envelopes. All of these can be found within our extensive collection of Chinese New Year resources for young children. You will also find a great selection of Chinese New Year children’s activities including: colouring pages, masks, calendars and banners on the free downloadable tab on our website.

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We hope you enjoy celebrating the festivities with us,

‘Happy Chinese New Year’ – ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’

Interesting Chinese New Year Facts

It is a major Chinese holiday. ‘Chinatowns’ in many cities around the world also celebrate Chinese New Year.

Traditionally, Chinese New Year lasts from the last day of the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of the first month.

The exact date of Chinese New Year changes each year because it originated in 2600 B.C. when people followed the lunar calendar.

Chinese New Year is symbolic of letting go of the past and welcoming new beginnings. It’s a popular time for spring cleaning.

Each year of the Chinese New Year calendar is named after an animal. This is a 12 year cycle. Once the 12 year cycle is completed, the animal list begins again. The list in order is: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram/sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

On Chinese New Year everyone is a year older. It doesn’t matter when you were born, it is like a national birthday.

It is common for Chinese families to have a reunion dinner the night before the Chinese New Year festivities begin.

The decorations used on doors and windows are red paper cut outs (similar to paper snowflakes), with themes of happiness, good fortune, longevity and wealth.

Firecrackers are very popular during Chinese New Year. They are thought to scare off evil spirits.

Children receive red envelopes containing an even amount of money. The amount cannot be divisible by four, because some Chinese people believe the number 4 means death.

Dragon dances and street fairs are very popular. Dancers dress up as lions and dragons and perform for onlookers.

A favourite traditional treat is a candied crab-apple on a stick.

On the last day of Chinese New Year, people carry beautiful paper lanterns and walk along the streets. This is supposed to light the way for the New Year and is called Lantern Day.

link to chinese new year related products

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