Celebrate Chinese New Year with some great craft projects, ancient Chinese tales, and traditions.
A fabulous link to fun Chinese New Year activities, like colouring-in templates, making paper dragons, hanging snake and lanterns: ActivityVillage.
Create and email some wonderful Chinese New Year Greeting Cards, E-cards and Resources: 101ChineseNewYear.com
The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival, more commonly known in the West as Chinese New Year: China.org
Find out what zodiac animal traits you have at ChinaToday.com
Chinese stories for general reading, study or discussion:China.MrDonn.org
Welcoming in the New Year: Do's ...
1. New Year Markets
In the course of the New Year's celebrations, pop-up markets appear and sell New Year goods, such as clothing, small arts, food and decorations. So come down the Asian Market on Saturday 17th February 2018 and peruse, buy, snack, participate and enjoy what's on offer at all the stalls and stay for the Cultural Entertainment – Michael Fowler Centre and Civic Square, 11am - 5pm.
2. Clean House/Feel Good
On Thursday 15th February 2018, it's Chinese New Year's eve. On this day and days before, it's tradition to pick up a broom and sweep away bad luck from the previous year to make room for the good. This is as an opportunity to spring-clean – time to dispose of unnecessary clutter. A clean home means sweeping away any misfortunes, regrets or mistakes, to make room for a fresh, ordered start to the New Year. Wear new clothes; out with the old, in with the new - another symbol of a fresh start.
3. Settle Debts (and Drama)
Chinese New Year is a good time to put behind money and relationship troubles. Pay off the credit card bill and use any leftover funds to treat yum char for someone you haven’t seen for a while.
4. Eat – lots
Most of the New Year's day is for spending inside the family home, eating, relaxing, and spending time together. But you could book one of our Participating Restaurants, details above, for a traditional Chinese banquet. They offer delicious foods specially created for this occasion, and for an amazing experience, check out when they've scheduled a traditional lion dance appearing right at your yum cha table! Go home to feast with the family, but if you can’t, make a date to share a meal with your friends. Just remember to call your parents and grandparents to wish them health, wealth, and happiness. That way, you could be gifted cash, which brings us to tradition #5.
5. Get That Hoong Bouw (red envelopes filled with cash)
The Hoong Bouw is probably the BEST tradition growing up in Chinese families. Typically given to the children and the unmarried, these little red envelopes usually contain coins or notes – and all gratefully accepted!
6. Go Red and Gold
The month of February is all about decking the halls with red and gold. Visit some local Chinese grocery stores and purchase paper cut outs, Chinese scrolls, and gorgeous lucky knots and ornaments to decorate your home and office.
The lion dance – one of the most famous Chinese cultural traditions – is totally necessary during any festival but you can hear them all year round; opening new restaurants or commencing an activity. These lions traditionally bring good luck and prosperity and drive away evil, so come and enjoy them at our Festival.
8. Come and Celebrate!
Come join us at the Wellington’s Chinese New Year Festival celebrations – there's a full day's free activity on Saturday 17th at the Michael Fowler Centre and Civic Square. Plus join us at East Meets West show, (gold-coin entry),where we bring the best of Wellington's local groups performing alongside top performing artists from Heilongjiang, Northern China, in a fusion of eastern and western performing arts. The day's events culminate in a fantastic night-sky visual feast with a Fireworks Display from Frank Kitts Park!
Welcoming in the New Year: Don'ts ...
X Don't buy, give or do four of anything - the Chinese word for 'four' has the misfortune of sounding like the word for 'death' ... very bad!
X Don't buy sharp objects in the lead up to Chinese New Year's day; anything involving blades or needles means a hard year ahead. So avoid cooking, have dinner at our Asian Market.
X Don't wear monochrome fashion; white and black are associated with death and morning. Wear reds and golds, and anything colourful.
X Don't wash your hair on the first day of the year; in the Chinese language, the word 'hair' has a similar sound to the word 'become healthy' so in effect, you'd be washing away one's fortune at the beginning of the New Year.
X Don't swear or use negative language or talk about death, ghosts and the past year's misfortunes. Now is the time to be positive and look to the prospects of a fresh New Year.