Chinese New Year Traditions & Activity Ideas

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important celebration in the Chinese Calendar. It marks the start of the New Year and each year this is represented by a different animal from the Chinese zodiac. The coming year, 2021, will be the year of the Ox, symbolising persistence and honesty.

Chinese New Year Traditions

To celebrate the New Year, there are many traditions:

  • Before the festivities, families clean their homes thoroughly to make them ready for the celebrations. It is considered unlucky to clean on New Year’s Day as you may “sweep all your good luck for the New Year away!”
  • To celebrate the day, people eat lots of food including noodle soup which is thought to bring luck in the New Year.
  • Parades and performances also mark the celebrations as well as fireworks, which are thought to scare away any evil spirits with their loud noises and bright lights.
  • Children typically receive money in red envelopes as gifts from the older generations.
  • Traditionally the celebrations continue for two weeks and end with a special lantern festival.

How you can celebrate Chinese New Year…

Chinese themed art and crafts:

A great way to introduce Chinese New Year is through art and crafts. We have lots of suggestions on our blog, from Chinese fans and lanterns to paper fortune cookies and dragon puppets

Chinese play food set:

An important part of the New Year celebration involves a feast with family, children can recreate this tradition with imaginative play and our authentic play food set.


Year of the Ox resources:

Download our FREE Chinese New Year resources including colouring-in sheets, dot-to-dot and word searches as well as NEW resources specially designed to celebrate the year of the Ox!

Give the gift of Chinese Lucky red envelopes:

A Chinese New Year tradition, typically money is given in the lucky envelopes to younger generations. Why not replicate the tradition and fill the envelopes with letters or messages for family and friends.

Chinese New Year Tuff Tray Kit:

Add a sensory element to your Chinese New Year topic with our versatile Tuff Tray Kit. You can use the chopsticks for mark making and creating Chinese symbols in the red rice or enhance motor skills with the tongs and pick out the gold coins

Chopsticks fine motor games:

Practice using Chinese chopsticks in a fun relay game whilst simultaneously improving fine motor skills

To explore more of our Chinese New Year resources including banners, books, instruments, tea sets, dressing up clothes and more, click the link to our website below.

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