Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy "Chinese" New Year

China, Chinese New Year, lessons, geography, culture, Globicate, Heidi Befort
Did you know that tomorrow is the Chinese New Year?  A celebration know as the "Spring Festival", starts on the first day and ends on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival. Many Chinese families will be celebrating with a reunion dinner tonight or "Eve of the Passing Year". The "Lunar New Year" is another name used for the Chinese New Year which is known as the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The celebration is centuries old and is celebrated around the world.

China, Red Envelope, Lessons, Freebie

Red Envelopes or red packets are typically passed out during Chinese New Year celebrations and typically contain money. Even numbered amounts of money are usually included, since odd amounts are given at funerals.  The number "8" is considered lucky, so most often this amount is included in the envelope.

The Chinese calendar contains symbols of animals for each year and rotate in a sequence of 12 different animals which include, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
China, lessons, calendar, geography, Chinese New Year

What a great way to introduce students to other cultures, than to compare and contrast our New Year celebrations with those of the Chinese, or to look at the significance of the Chinese calendar and the association with animals, or for younger students the difference or similarities between money and gifts.  I've included a couple activities for you to look at the history and significance of the Chinese New Year, and how we can help our students understand and relate to others around the world.


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