Chinese New Year begins February 8, 2016. Share this ancient tradition in celebrating a year of hard work and a prosperous new year by creating these fun and easy activities with the kids.
Considered the most important Chinese holiday, Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, lasting around three weeks between January 21 to February 20. Based on a Chinese legend, Buddha requested all the animals to meet with him on on Chinese New Year. When 12 animals accepted the call, Buddha named a year after each of them, thus creating the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. This year, 2016, is considered the year of the monkey (as was 2004 and 1980), so the year and the people born during that same year are considered to possess certain traits.
While all of that may be much to explain to the kids, there are several easy ways to teach them key parts about Chinese New Year.
1.) Read it.
Share the legend of Chinese New Year including all the beauty of the “Spring festival,” dragon dances and more by sharing a story with authentic photos from China like this beautiful book from National Geographic Kids.
2.) Make It.
The Chinese create beautiful art in all shapes and sizes. From origami, fortune cookies, paper dragons, Chinese lanterns, and more – there are so many things you can create to recognize, appreciate and teach your kids about the Chinese culture and the Chinese New Year. Take a little time to learn a special craft together. Or you can do something a little easier like this kid-friendly “sushi,” made with lunch meat, cheese, and bread. This video shows you how!
3.) Eat It.
No time to make and do for holiday? No problem! P.F. Chang’s is celebrating Chinese New Year with a special celebration lasting the whole month beginning February 8.
Just like the ancient tradition of red envelopes, the eatery will be handing traditional Chinese red envelopes with free offers on trees around its restaurants. Five lucky winners will even open an envelope for free P.F. Chang’s for a year!
Also in the spirit of the holiday, you can also give to others with the special social promotion. Enjoy six signature items on its Chinese New Year menu and you share your wish for 2016 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #PFChangswish, they’ll donate $1 (up to $100,000) to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The Long Life Noodles and Prawns ix full of flavor with spices and chiles.
P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year menu features six signature menu that symbolically represent the luck of the new year, including:
- Sichuan Chili Garlic Chicken
- Hong Kong Style Sea Bass
- Long Life Noodles & Prawns
- Butternut Squash Dumplings
- Mandarin Cake
- Monkey Mule (a unique twist on the traditional Moscow Mule featuring Monkey Shoulder whisky and house-made ginger beer)
How are you planning to celebrate Chinese New Year?