Friday, February 12, 2021, marks Chinese New Year! As a Chinese-Canadian, my parents and their family come from Hong Kong and have always celebrated Chinese New Year after coming to Canada. With that said, Chinese New Year is not only meant for the Chinese culture, but anyone can also celebrate it. If you are looking to celebrate or learn more about Chinese New Year, here are some activities you can try at home with your families!
Books to Read for Chinese New Year
Although we may not be able to celebrate Chinese New Year the same way as before, whether you are Chinese or not, everyone is welcome to read books about Chinese New Year! The following two lists were created by me in 2018 when I was working at the Library, awesome that they still exist! Of course, you are not limited to these books, as there are lots of books at your local library (for those who still have access to Curbside Pickup or reading eBooks) or through online platforms such as Amazon or Chapters.
Chinese and English Dual Language Books for Babies and Toddlers is a list I created with both Chinese/English dual language books for parents who are looking for books for their baby or toddler, or for younger children. It’s perfect for younger audiences hoping to learn about the culture with both English/Chinese words.
Chinese New Year Books for All Ages is a list for everyone else. This list is composed of books ranging from children’s to adult books, including cookbooks and craft activities.
One of my favorite things to do each year is read my Chinese Zodiac. Although it is more of a fun fact rather than seeking for accuracy. The Chinese Zodiac (“Sheng Xiao” in Chinese) is a repeating 12-year cycle of different animal signs based on the lunar calendar. The animals include Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snack, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Your birth year, rather than birthday, is used to determine which Chinese Zodiac animal you are.
Mahjong has been a well-known Chinese game and typically played with four players. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this may not be an option, however, there are lots of options online and Mahjong can be played alone as well. Try the link above and play some Mahjong!
Chinese New Year includes lots of delicious food that we share amongst families. Click on the link above for a handful of different fun and easy Chinese New Year recipes to try! During the pandemic, I found that my family and I often have the same meals repeatedly, so we have tried cooking some of these recipes as a change. If you’re worried, the recipes note whether they are easy to cook or not.
Whether you have young children who are looking for crafts or an adult who wants to try something hands on, this links brings to you some fun and festive crafts to learn! Most of these crafts are relatively simple and do not require lots of material.
Regardless of if you celebrate Chinese New Year or not, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the culture or simply try some new activities at home during the pandemic. Happy Chinese New Year!