Whether you homeschool your children or not, it is always fun to discuss other country’s holidays and beliefs with your kids. It can be far to easy to get wrapped up in our own little world and not think about what other celebrations are happening either in the moment or potentially upcoming.
The Chinese New Year begins on February 10th this year. The specific date can vary from year to year, but typically falls between January 21st to February 20th. It is also called the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, and is the most important Chinese festival.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year
For most, the original intent of the new year was to honor deities and ancestors. It is a time to celebrate with family through visits and parties, as well as a time to feast and be grateful for what is given. The main purpose of the Chinese New Year is rooted in being grateful for the end of the winter months (basically the end of the year), and embracing the upcoming year, including spring and renewal. It is a time to clear the air of the old or bad things from the previous year and to welcome the good of the upcoming year, including celebrating the life of ancestors and family members they may have lost more recently.
Before the festival begins, people will thoroughly clean their house to better prepare both in body and spirit for the holiday. Cleaning and dusting symbolizes getting rid of the old of the previous year and having a clean home is being ready to welcome the newness of the year. Red is a very important color for the Chinese New Year as it symbolizes prosperity and energy, both vital for a productive new year. You will see red decorations everywhere during the festival! Many areas and homes will be decked out with red lanterns. There is a fireworks celebration typically in the first few minutes of the start of the Chinese New Year. Individuals may set off their own fireworks throughout the festivities to celebrate on their own as well.
Happy Chinese New Year!