- Print the story of the Chinese Zodiac to share with your family. Since each year is represented by one of 12 animals, use this Chinese Zodiac Sign Calculator to figure out which animals you are. I like the calculator because it takes into account your actual day of birth in figuring out which animal you are. Many calendars like those you see on placemats at Chinese restaurants follow the western calendar that begins on January 1. They don’t take into account that those with January birthdays (like Little Miss Techie) might fall under a different sign since Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar. I also like that this site will give you a link so you can read and print the character traits for your animal sign. Did that make any sense?
- Make felt fortune cookies, dumplings, or a tray of oranges for your play kitchen. The oranges signify gold and prosperity for the new year while dumpling preparation the night before the start of the new year is a tradition.
- Recycle your toilet paper tubes into firecrackers to ward off evil spirits
- Make or print li see envelopes to exchange with family members and fill them with lucky money. It is customary for married couples to give them to those who are unmarried. With my brother’s recent wedding, he’s now on the giving end, rather than the receiving end, of the li see!
- Have your own parade with dancing lion puppets
- Prepare a Tray of Togetherness. In my grandparents’ and parents’ house a square lacquer box whose different compartments were always filled with sweets like candied sweets of ginger, winter melon, lotus seeds, sliced taro root, crunchy water chestnuts, and coconut at this time of year. Our box may be an octagon plastic one but it’s filled with sweets that my parents sent and the kids and I are exercising restraint to not gobble up all of the winter melon and coconut. Make one at home by gathering 8 dishes and filling them with sweet treats. Eight is a lucky number! Note to my parents: please bring more!
- Read the following great picture books together to learn more about Chinese New Year customs:
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama