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4 Ways to celebrate Chinese New Year

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Welcome the year of the snake

Welcome the coming spring as you celebrate Chinese New Year with the whole family. During this festive holiday, teach your children about Chinese culture and reflect on the spirit of renewal.
Chinese paper lanterns

Learn about a different culture and try these four family-friendly ways to celebrate the year of the snake.

Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival in China, is a time of renewal and peace. As the New Year is ushered in, families pave the way for future happiness and prosperity. Learn how to celebrate Chinese New Year with your family.

Make paper lanterns together

During Chinese New Year, paper lanterns are used as decorations. The last day of the festival is often celebrated with paper lanterns. When you create paper lanterns with your family, avoid lighting them with real candles, which pose a fire risk. Either leave them unlit or use LED tea lights for an authentic glow. Learn how to make paper lanterns and create them with your kids using red construction paper or white paper that your children have decorated with homemade designs and wishes for the New Year.

Enjoy an authentic Chinese meal

Food is a huge part of Chinese culture and celebration. Share a meal with your family as a way to celebrate Chinese New Year. As you eat together, ban cell phones and distractions. Share plates and spend time talking and making wishes for a happy future. Instead of getting take-out, try to find an authentic Chinese sit down restaurant, preferably one that serves dim sum. Even little kids can find something to enjoy when perusing carts full of delicious fried and steamed small plates. If you’re confident in the kitchen, purchase ready-made wonton wrappers and create your own fried or steamed wontons to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Serve grownups Chinese wine for Chinese New Year >>

Celebrate the snake

Year of the snake craft

2013 is the year of the snake. Don’t let a fear of snakes sway you. Snakes are a good omen and a sign of wisdom and cunning. To ring in the year of the snake in the Chinese zodiac, make your own snakes to keep your house safe and prosperous. Take paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls and decorate them with paint, crayons or markers. Then carefully cut the roll at a diagonal, rounding off one end to form a head. Glue on plastic googly eyes, sequins or beads to create the snake’s face. Place your lucky snakes throughout the house to bring you good fortune.

Refresh your home for the New Year

During Chinese New Year, it’s traditional for families to deeply cleanse the house. This literally removes clutter and dirt but also cleanses bad feelings and thoughts and makes way for happiness. If you’ve ever done any spring cleaning, you know how good it feels to clear out your spaces. Task everyone in the family with a serious cleaning chore around the house. Consider jobs like donating old toys and books, cleaning out closet spaces or rearranging cabinets and pantry space. When you’re finished, you’ll feel all the potential and peace of the year to come.

More family activities

4 Reasons to throw an everyday celebration
Paper airplane races
DIY gifts kids can make

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