Chinese New Year Fun

Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Happy 4710!

You don’t have to be Chinese or have Chef Chu’s on speed dial in order to celebrate this festive event.  Today kicks off Chinese New Year, a holiday commemorated with fireworks, feasts and plenty of family fun.

Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days until the Chinese Lantern Festival.  This gives you two full weeks to ring in the Year of the Snake with your loved ones.  Even kids can get in on the action by creating these simple and affordable Chinese New Year-themed crafts:

Dancing Lion:  If you can’t make it to China or Chinatown to take part in the New Year merriment, then bring the party to your living room by having your kids put on a parade complete with lion dancers.  All you need to make your own lion is a large paper bag, streamers, markers, glitter, sequins and a pair of scissors.  Cut a hole in the bag near near your child’s mouth, and then let him decorate the bag to mimic a Chinese lion head.  Embellish the lion mask with streamers, glitter and markers.  Finally, have a sibling follow behind the head of the lion covered with a colorful blanket to complete the lion’s body.

Paper Firecrackers:  Throughout Asia, people believe that exploding firecrackers chase away evil spirits.  While lighting a string of 10,000 red firecrackers may not be legal in your town during the month of February, it doesn’t mean you can’t get fired up to celebrate the holiday in a quieter way.  To make your own paper firecrackers collect about six empty rolls of toilet paper, red construction paper, tape, gold glitter, glue, yarn, and scissors.  To make the firecrackers, cover the cardboard tubes with red construction paper and tape to secure.  Fold the ends of construction paper inside the tube on both ends.  Next, glue the glitter to the outside of the tubes.  When the glue dries, tape a piece of yarn to the inside of each tube.  Finally, tie the rolls together to make it look like a real string of firecrackers.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.