Happy Chinese New Year 2014! It’s the year of the horse! Since I love all things history, culture, or steeped in tradition, we liked celebrating the holiday yesterday for fun at our house. We like to remind ourselves what animal year we were born in, then see if our personalities are matching up as we learn and grow. Quite honestly, there is also a part of me that just loves all the reds, yellows, oranges and the dragons…..oh, I love the dragons. The kids and I watch some of the parades online and it’s amazing how intricate some of the people dragon trains are designed!
We make crafts and read books and this year my six-year-old and I watched Mulan, one of our favorite heroines. I leave in this post for you some links and images to help you celebrate or to see how we enjoyed our evening. Be sure to check out a list of books that your family might enjoy as well!
For good fortune, please stop by in the comments tell me what animal you are!
Here is an article with some predictions for the year of the horse (if can’t click, copy and paste into your browser): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/chinese-new-year-2014-what-the-year-of-the-horse-means-for-you-9096775.html
FIVE BOOKS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN THAT WE ENJOY!
It’s Chinese New Year and there are so many fun things to do!
Shopping at the outdoor market for fresh flowers, eating New Year’s dinner with the whole family, receiving red envelopes from Grandma and Grandpa, and best of all-watching the spectacular Chinese New Year’s parade!
Introduce the customs of Chinese New Year to even the youngest readers with this festive new lift-the-flap book.
2.) Ruby’s Wish~
by Shirin Yim, Author and Sophie Blackall, Illustrator
Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author’s grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby’s Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who strives for more and a family who rewards her hard work and courage.
3.) Year of the Horse: Tales of the Chinese Zodiac~
by Author Oliver Chin and Illustrator Jennifer Wood
2014 is The Year of the Horse! Hannah the horse has a wonderfully talented family and a very special friendship with a boy named Tom, but she wants more than that. She yearns to have special skills like those of her parents and relatives. When Tom offers to take his art teacher s newest painting to the governor in a far off capital, Hannah jumps at the chance to show a little horse can have a lot of courage.
This latest adventure in the Tales from the Chinese Zodiac follows The Year of the Snake (2013), Dragon (2012), Rabbit (2011), Tiger (2010), Ox (2009), Rat (2008), Pig (2007) and Dog (2006). Each book features a unique cast of a dozen creatures. In the Chinese lunar calendar, a special animal represents every year. Each creature symbolizes unique qualities and has a personality that people identify with.
4.) Chelsea’s Chinese New Year~
by Lisa Bullard, Author and Katie Saunders, Illustrator
Chelsea’s family is celebrating Chinese New Year! Chelsea gets to stay up late. She watches fireworks and a parade with a dragon! She and her family have a big feast. Find out the different ways people celebrate this special day!
5.) Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan!~
by Lauryn Silverhardt, Adapter, Jason Fruchter, Illustrator and Aka Chikasawa, Illustrator
Kai-lan and her friends get to carry the dragon costume in the big parade – but can they work together to make the dragon dance?
I had to add this book of Kai-lan, my six-year-old has always loved her and actually knows many Chinese words from watching the show!
WHAT ELSE WE DID TO CELEBRATE: MOVIE
As I mentioned before, we watched one of our favorite Disney heroines, Mulan! What a great story of a young girl who transforms herself into a warrior to save her family, her Emporer, and her country while defying the norms that a woman should only prepare herself for marriage.
Plus, it’s SUPER funny. The red dragon with the voice of Eddie Murphy is hysterical and the cricket is so cute!
As of the date of this post, Mulan and Mulan II are also on NETFLIX!
WHAT ELSE WE DID TO CELEBRATE: CRAFTS
We found a wall hanging craft on Pinterest…(where there are lots of pins for Chinese New Year crafts and books and so forth for families!). We made it by painting popsicle sticks red and gluing into a square, then we looked up Chinese symbols. Emma drew the symbol for tranquility and Addie drew one for peace. We glued it into the middle of the square and glued a penny (for a Chinese coin) onto the right hand corner for monetary luck! A ribbon was glued to the back so we can hang them up! The girls adore them and I think they are pretty cute too.
Then, Addie and I made a paper dragon. We just came up with it as we went on our own. We cut a head, a tongue, pointy fur and found some googly eyes for the face. Then we cut out a bunch of colorful circles and glued them in twos behind the head to make a body. We used a red tail. On the circles of the body we drew black lines to create a scale texture. She loves it!
It’s not too late to celebrate the year of the horse in 2014.
May luck, good fortune, love, and peace be upon all of you!