It’s that time of year again: Chinese New Year! Like many parents and teachers, you may be looking for ways to help your kids learn about this vibrant and exciting cultural celebration. After all, experiencing the holiday firsthand not only teaches children important traditions but also helps broaden their perspectives on different cultures!
To help make your preparations a bit easier (and more fun!) I put together this lively culture and movement activity that can easily be incorporated into your upcoming festivities. This interactive activity will take your family or classroom learning & February celebrations to the next level!
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is an annual celebration of the Chinese calendar, where people gather to express their good wishes, share food, and have delightful festivities. The traditional holiday is held on the same day every year, which falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Chinese New Year is a great event that symbolizes hope and celebration for many families both near and far. Celebrations consist of gathering as a family to enjoy each other’s company, wearing bright festive red clothing, setting off firecrackers for luck and fortune, and vast amounts of delicious cooking and refreshments eaten together – all these are enjoyed throughout the 16-day holiday period until the Lantern Festival arrives.
What is the Zodiac Calendar?
The zodiac calendar is a traditional annual calendar based on the lunar cycle and related to Chinese astrology and folklore. It organizes each year into segments ruled by an animal sign according to Chinese mythology.
Each animal rules for one Chinese New Year, beginning at the start of each solar year and ending just before the next Chinese New Year.
The 12 animals in order – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster/Chicken, Dog, and Pig – determine your zodiac sign and offer insight into the different characteristics associated with that sign.
What Chinese Sign is the Year 2023?
year of the Water Rabbit
2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit, starting on January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year), and ending on February 9th, 2024 (Chinese New Year’s Eve).
These trends are said to help predict inner strengths and weaknesses as well as external events that may affect a person’s destiny in a variety of ways.
With its timeless beauty and long-standing history of scholarly observation, it’s no wonder that the zodiac calendar continues to captivate those looking for answers about their pasts and present destinies.
Chinese New Year Activity for Kids Using the Zodiac Calendar
This fun Chinese New Year activity to do with your kids that integrate movement and culture is centered on the Zodiac calendar.
Several mornings each week we take the time to do a few yoga poses as part of our movement learning. Many of these poses are animals. Last week as my sons slithered on the floor like a snake, this activity occurred to me. Each year of the Zodiac calendar represents an animal and kids love to act out these animals.
There are 12 animals in total. Get the bodies moving and learn about Chinese culture all in one. Perfect for the home and the classroom. I introduced the calendar at one of our circle times.
There are many ways to learn about the Chinese Zodiac Calendar and Chinese New Year. Although I encourage you to find out more about the ideas by reading books with your children about the Chinese New Year.
Don’t get too caught up in any particular way to present the animal, just have fun with it and get your bodies moving. Hop like a rabbit, slither like a snake, and neigh like a horse. You get it. Have a good time!
Thanks for visiting! I hope we inspired you today!