Looking at my picture, you can see there’s not a trace of Chinese blood in me. That’s no reason to miss out on celebrating Chinese New Year! So how does a pasty white Arizona transplant celebrate with her family?
- First, know the facts. The Chinese New Year is actually a 15 day celebration; this year the celebration begins on February 3. 2011 is the year of the rabbit. Share information about the Chinese Zodiac. Do you know why the rat is the symbol of the first Chinese year?
- Head over to the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix on February 11, 12 and 13 for their Chinese New Year Festival. Even if you can’t make it to the festival, you can teach your children the history and meaning behind the celebration and enjoy some of the elements in your own home.
- As a matter of fact, this would be a great time to share any interesting facts about China. Share trivia about the Great Wall of China, Chinese inventions, or Chinese art.
- Decorate! You can color the Chinese flag to use as decorations for your celebration. Older kids might enjoy trying their hand at origami.
- Some of my favorite “China” books are The Seven Chinese Brothers, The Magic Paintbrush and Lon Po Po.
- Watch Mulan!
- I’ve always wanted to make homemade fortune cookies. If that’s too much work, try making Chinese Almond Cookies.
We also studied China one week as part of our Stay-at-home Summer Camp a couple of years ago. You can focus on the cultural or the fun. Either way you are building memories and sharing a piece of another culture with your family.