The Chinese New Year will be on Sunday, February 14 (yes, also Valentine's Day!). Chinese New Year is a very exciting holiday, for adults as well as children as it centers around the family, past, present, and future. There are many tasty dishes prepared and fun interactive games played as families join together to celebrate and welcome in the new year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the tiger. If you would like to learn more about the Chinese New Year, check out the first chapter of Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts: Festivals of China by Carol Stepanchuk and Charles Wong, which details some of the traditional games and foods. In addition, Laura Young of Kaboose wrote "What is Chinese New Year?" that explains some of the main points of the celebration in a quick and easy way to understand.
So, how about having a Chinese New Year Celebration at your library? Not only is it a fun event, but it is also a way to reach out to members of your community and share a new culture with children. There are many fun ways to plan a party for your library. Here are a few links and fun sites to get you started on an amazing Chinese New Year celebration!
Story time Books:
- Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year by Kate Waters, illustrated by Martha Cooper
- Request the "Lion Dancer Holiday Kit" from the Bookmobile to use in your program!
- Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
- Read this book in English, then share the Chinese version with the children. This provides an excellent introduction about language differences!
- The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by Tungwai Chau
- Kaboose: Chinese New Year Crafts : Learn how to make simple cardboard tube red firecrackers, an ox pin or magnet, and a Welcome door hanger.
- Enchanted Learning: Crafts and Activities for Chinese New Year: Make a dancing dragon or lion toy puppet, or one of the popular Chinese lanterns!
- Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragon Boats: a treasury of Chinese holiday tales, activities, and recipes by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, illustrated by Milo So: Make some tasty Chinese recipes found in this delightful book on Chinese traditions!