Five Ideas To Celebrate Chinese New Year In School

Written by Dan

Chinese New Year is an exciting celebration of vibrant colours, captivating traditions, and delicious foods. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring culture into your classroom’s learning activities.

Whether you want to focus on the Chinese language, writing, or even customs – there are countless ways to celebrate this special occasion with students at school! In this blog post, we will share five ideas to help teachers make the Chinese New Year unforgettable for their pupils.

From unique craft projects inspired by ancient symbols to fun educational games about the holiday’s history — these teaching strategies can help your class revel in the festive spirit of this critical traditional event!

What Is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is a centuries-old celebration steeped in various customs and traditions. Observed by over 1.5 billion individuals across the globe, it marks the start of the Lunar New Year and serves as an essential tradition uniting Chinese people everywhere.

During this festival, many participate in activities such as cleaning their homes, attending vibrant parades and giving gifts to bring good fortune for the upcoming year.

Additionally, feasts with family and friends are common to celebrate this special occasion. Chinese New Year is an exciting event that offers a unique cultural experience for those who recognise it.

Why Should We Celebrate The Chinese New Year In School?

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in the classroom is a beautiful way for students to gain cultural awareness and appreciation. This festive holiday isn’tisn’t just any ordinary celebration; it is an incredibly important one that marks a new year filled with good fortune and prosperity.

This ancient tradition offers abundant educational opportunities for students to explore different aspects of Chinese heritage, from decorations such as red lanterns to music and traditional games.

Not only will recognising and celebrating this occasion bring about an enriching experience for all involved, but it could also be used as a platform for fostering respect and understanding among peers from different backgrounds. Moreover, it could encourage further research and curiosity into various cultures worldwide.

Assembly And Follow-Up Activities

Assembly activities can be a great way to kick-start any lesson plan or online course – especially for incorporating team-building and problem-solving skills.

After the assembly activity, there are many different follow-up activities that teachers can choose from to engage their students further and ensure that everyone participating is prepared for the main topic of discussion or lesson. These activities may include cooperative learning tasks, hands-on activities, or project assignments.

Each type of activity has its benefits and will help equip students with the information they need to tackle future topics or challenges. With assembly and follow-up activities, teachers can bring valuable insight into the classroom while fostering an environment of learning and collaboration.

Learning Some Chinese

Learning some Chinese is a fun and exciting way to bring a lively new culture into the classroom. This educational activity will engage students and teachers while introducing them to new languages and customs.

Not only will everyone be proud of themselves as they learn how to say Happy New Year (xīn nián kuàilè!) in Mandarin, but they’ll also gain insight into an ancient culture with a proud history.

Studying some Chinese words, phrases, and symbols is sure to be an experience that will produce memories to last long after the Chinese New Year has come and gone.

Here are some Chinese words that would be easy for children to learn in school to celebrate Chinese New Year:

  1. Gong Xi Fa Cai (恭喜发财) – This phrase means “Congratulations and prosperity” and is commonly used as a greeting during Chinese New Year.
  2. Hong Bao (红包) – A red envelope filled with money, typically given to children during Chinese New Year.
  3. Nian Gao (年糕) – A sticky rice cake traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year.
  4. Fu (福) – The character for “good fortune” or “luck”, often seen on decorations and banners during the holiday.
  5. Shou Sui (守岁) – The practice of staying up late on New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year and ward off evil spirits.
  6. Chun Lian (春联) – Decorative couplets containing auspicious phrases, often hung on doorways during Chinese New Year.
  7. Jiao Zi (饺子) – Dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, typically eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
  8. Bai Nian (拜年) – The act of visiting family and friends during Chinese New Year to exchange greetings and well wishes.

By learning these simple words, children can better appreciate the language and culture associated with Chinese New Year celebrations.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts are a meaningful way to celebrate this memorable holiday. They create a fun learning environment while introducing students to customs, symbols and values associated with the celebration. Children can understand the origins and importance of Chinese New Year customs by making their decorations, crafts or paintings.

Whether creating paper cutouts of Chinese symbols such as dragons or lanterns or embarking on a DIY project such as building a model temple for offerings – there are so many possibilities for crafting! Celebrating Chinese New Year through art projects makes it fun and memorable for everyone involved – parents, teachers, and students!

Chinese Zodiac Activities

With simple activities such as researching the symbolism of each zodiac sign, creating displays featuring all twelve characters, or having a party complete with custom-made dragon masks, there are endless options to have fun with your students while celebrating traditional culture! If you’re looking for more creative ideas on how to approach teaching Chinese Zodiac animals in a classroom setting, you’re in the right place.

You’ll find plenty of information about ways to celebrate and learn about Chinese traditions, like decorating products with colourful images of all twelve zodiacs, designing tongue twisters specific to each zodiac or even making signs depicting each zodiac outfit that can be hung around the room. With these exciting and engaging activities, Chinese New Year will be an unforgettable part of your year!

Chinese Food

There is no better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than to enjoy the delicious traditional dishes served all over China. Every region has highlights that pair perfectly with family gatherings, from steamed buns and sweet rice cakes in the north to Peking Duck and Cantonese dim sum in the south.

Now we’re allowing you to make your delicious Chinese meals at home! With some of our exclusive recipes and tips from professional chefs, you can ensure your New Year celebration is unforgettable.

Celebrating Chinese New Year in school is a beautiful way to promote cultural awareness and understanding among students. By learning about the traditions and customs associated with the holiday, children can gain a deeper appreciation for Chinese culture and its contributions to the global community.

With the help of online resources like those listed above, educators can create engaging and informative lessons that will leave a lasting impression on their students.

Whether through art projects, music performances, or taste-testing traditional foods, there are countless ways to bring the spirit of Chinese New Year into the classroom and make it a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Here are five websites that offer advice about celebrating Chinese New Year in school:

  1. Education World – This website overviews Chinese New Year traditions and offers suggestions for activities teachers can use to help students learn about the holiday. Some ideas include creating red lanterns, making dragon puppets, and learning to write Chinese characters. Link:
  2. Scholastic – Scholastic’sScholastic’s website has a collection of resources for teaching about the Chinese New Year, including lesson plans, printable activities, and videos. The materials are designed for different grade levels and cover topics such as the holiday’sholiday’s history, cultural customs, and foods associated with the celebration. Link:
  3. National Geographic Kids – This website features an interactive quiz that tests students’ knowledge of Chinese New Year traditions and articles about the holiday’sholiday’s history and significance. There are also videos showcasing traditional lion dances and fireworks displays worldwide. Link:
  4. Teach Starter – Teach Starter provides free resources for educators looking to celebrate Chinese New Year in their classrooms. These include printable worksheets, craft activities, and decorations that can be used to create an immersive learning environment for students. Link:
  5. Twinkl – Twinkl has a selection of resources specifically tailored to teaching about Chinese New Year in primary schools (ages 5-11). The materials cover zodiac animals, calligraphy practice sheets, and instructions for making paper lanterns or dragon masks. Link:


Q: What is the Chinese New Year?

A: Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is a traditional holiday celebrated in China and other countries with significant Chinese populations. It typically falls between late January and mid-February, depending on the lunar calendar.

Q: Why should schools celebrate the Chinese New Year?

A: Celebrating Chinese New Year in school can help promote cultural awareness and understanding among students. Learning about another culture’sculture’s traditions, customs, and history is an opportunity.

Q: What are some ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in school?

A: There are many ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in school, such as creating red lanterns, making dragon puppets, learning to write Chinese characters, taste-testing traditional foods or hosting a lion dance performance.

Q: Can non-Chinese students participate in the celebrations?

A: Absolutely! Celebrating cultural holidays like Chinese New Year is a great way to promote diversity and inclusivity within the school community. All students can participate and learn together.

Q: Are any resources available for teachers who want to incorporate Chinese New Year into their curriculum?

A: Yes! Many online resources are available for teachers looking to incorporate Chinese New Year into their lessons. Some of these include lesson plans, printable activities, videos and craft ideas which can be found on websites like Scholastic or Education World.

Q: Is it appropriate for schools to celebrate holidays from other cultures?

A: Yes! Celebrating cultural holidays is a great way to promote diversity and inclusivity within the school community. As long as it’s done respectfully and with sensitivity towards the culture being celebrated, it can be a positive experience for everyone involved.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






Join our email list to receive the latest updates.

Add your form here