Experience the Chinese New Year Celebration

You may think, with January in the rearview mirror, that New Year’s celebrations are done. If you do, you are missing out on one the best celebrations of the season. Because the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is dictated by the movement of the moon, the actual date fluctuates from year to year — but it always falls between the December solstice and the March equinox. The festival is a week-long or more in some regions of the world and celebrates the coming spring.

There are so many traditions that go along with celebrating the lunar year. We typically get our hair trimmed for the occasion. We eat long noodles, and the children prepare special celebratory dances to exhibit at our FCC dinner. It’s a fun time to gather with family and friends and celebrate the hopeful gift of a new lunar year. By far, one of the rowdiest and most delightful activities for the children is experiencing the Lion Dance. At the end of our Chinese New Year celebration, we are visited by the lion, which symbolizes good fortune in the year to come. A few lucky little ones every year get the honor of waking the lion before he begins his dance. It is always so exciting to watch children interact with the mischievous lion. We feed him spring greens, and the children share their red envelopes with him.

The traditions of this festival date back to prehistory, and there is something simply magical about sharing in them with your family. If you are interested in celebrating the arrival of the new lunar year, here are a few easy activities to help you get started.


Flowers are an important symbol during Lunar New Year celebrations. Plum blossoms are particularly prevalent as they are associated with courage and hope. Set out tangerines and oranges as a sign of welcome and good fortune. Red is also an important color during New Year celebrations — it symbolizes happiness, success, and good luck. Wear it. Decorate with it. Just literally paint the town red!

Well Wishes

Set aside some time to be intentional about your wishes for yourself, your family, and your friends for the coming year. The turn of the new lunar year is a time to embrace family and friends and wish them abundance in the coming year. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only holiday that encourages spreading the love.

Grab Some Red Envelopes

You can find traditional red envelopes at your local Asian market or order them from amazon. At our house, we put small dollar amounts in the red envelopes as well as the occasional candy coin. We give them to our children in celebration of the New Year. We also feed the lion our red envelopes (with money, not candy) during his dance.

Find a Lion Dance

Look to your universities, local restaurants, and cultural centers to see if they have any Chinese New Year festivities planned. Finding an event that offers a traditional Lion Dance will not disappoint.

Chinese New Year is a perfect time to introduce your family to traditions and cultural practices that extended as far back as recorded time. Many Asian countries celebrate a variation of this beautiful transition from winter to spring. It is a time of renewal, and it is a ridiculously good time.

Stacy Mcdonald-Taylor
Stacy, a former health care program manager, came to the first coast by way of Charlotte, NC. Passionate for community and creative arts. Stacy has worked with families and educators through Parent Education & Outreach Programs. Since welcoming the births of her and her husband’s two delightful, energetic sons, she has worked from home, always seeking to find new ways to provide a joy-filled, creative environment, nurturing a love for people, learning, nature, and healthy, natural/organic foods. Stacy shares tidbits of her “life learnings” on her blog, Wasting Nothing



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here