Sunday January 22 marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, sometimes called the Chinese New Year, or in China by the name chunjie (春节), which means Spring Festival. The date changes each year because it is based on the Lunar calendar, which follows the cycles of the moon. In 2022 it was on February 1, and in 2024 it will be on February 10! The Lunar New Year is celebrated by more than 20% of the world, including by people in China, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and others, and by many with Asian heritage who now live in other countries. Lunar New Year celebrations are a great way to connect with Asian families in your community and as part of your cultural programming, giving everyone a look into beautiful traditions from around the world. Here are some ideas you can use to spark activity ideas!
BGCA partner Panda Express has lots of great resources you can use with youth. One is this video for younger kiddos that tells the story of Lunar New Year.
In addition, We are excited to share their online curriculum featuring eight fully interactive activities that explore different aspects of the rich history and festivities of Lunar New Year. Activities include fun video content, trivia, and educational video games. The online curriculum includes an instructor’s guide to help Club staff navigate the topics. Additionally, with each registration this year, Club members will be gifted a Lunar New Year themed activity booklet with games, stickers, and rewards (while supplies last)! Let’s celebrate the Year of the Tiger together! To register or for more information, visit their community page HERE.
Much of the activities for Lunar New Year tend to derive from Chinese traditions, but I really like this Korean game called Yut Nori. The link to buy the sticks seems to be broken, but I found some on Amazon.
It’s not a ClubX Blog Link Roundup without a list of read aloud picture books! This one has several that you should be able to get at your local library (or ask the children’s librarian for suggestions!) along with some simple craft ideas:
This site has a list of a bunch of great crafts. I LOVE the cupcake liner dragon!
I shared this master list of ideas last year (and WOW this site has a ton of ads), but want to call out the Symbol of Double Happiness Banner, the Decorative Chinese Knot Wall Hanging, and that there are some coloring pages to download if you like to keep those on hand.
Each Lunar New Year also marks a change in the Chinese Zodiac, a 12-year cycle of animal signs. 2022 is the Year of the Rabbit. This site features several rabbit crafts, including some really neat origami.
This “inflatable” origami rabbit is fun too!
If you have a culinary program, making Chinese dumplings would be incredible! They are an important part of many family’s New Year celebrations. Here’s a step by step guide. (If you don’t have a full kitchen, you can also buy pre-made dumplings from many stores to serve as a special snack.)
Don’t forget to start planning now for Asian American & Pacific Islander Month in May!