Growing up in Hong Kong, I have attended several Chinese New Year parties over the years: it is the most important holiday of the year. Whilst Westerners get excited by the end of the year, in China it is all about the start of the Lunar New Year which ushers in a new animal front the Chinese Zodiac.
What is nicest about the whole thing is that one gets to celebrate two new years whilst in Hong Kong.
It is important to remember that red is an auspicious color for Chinese New Year and it colors everything from the red envelopes filled with cash that one hands out at this time of year, to the red Chinese New Year outfits one, should wear at this time of year.
This time of year is usually marked with many a happy and boisterous lion dance whereby dancers perform a highly energetic dance dressed as a large lion.
The dance is always accompanied by lots of loud drums to scare away all the evil energy and usher in positive cheer for the year ahead.
This article dives into the details of what to wear, what to do, and how to celebrate the Chinese New Year with your kids.
Discover the significance of Chinese New Year clothes, the activities that can make the festival more interactive for your kids, and how to truly usher in the Year of the Rabbit in 2023.
- Why New Year Outfits are Important in Chinese New Year?
- What are Some Must-have Chinese New Year Clothes for Kids?
- Red Envelopes: What Are They and Why Are They Given?
- Fun and Easy Chinese New Year Activities for Kids
- How to Immerse Your Kids in Chinese Culture and Traditions
Why New Year Outfits are Important in Chinese New Year?
New Year outfits are a significant part of the Chinese New Year. Clothes in hues of red and gold are not just festive; they are believed to usher in luck and prosperity. So, before you think of anything else, consider refreshing your child's wardrobe this year with clothes that are designed for comfort and festivity.
It's the perfect time to invest in the latest collection of Chinese New Year outfits, which often includes options like the cheongsam, a one-piece dress with Chinese origins. Lucky colors, especially red, play a huge part in Chinese New Year, and dressing in such tones is believed to ward off evil spirits.
What are Some Must-have Chinese New Year Clothes for Kids?
If you're looking for some cute, yet traditional, outfits for your little one, we've got you covered. The staple piece for any child's Chinese New Year wardrobe is undoubtedly the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress.
Other options include dragon and animal prints that correspond to the Chinese zodiac animal of the year, which for 2023 is the Rabbit. Don't forget accessories like red packets or small red envelopes, usually containing money or sweet treats, which are a part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Kids can also participate in the tradition by wearing these envelopes on their outfits.
Red Envelopes: What Are They and Why Are They Given?
Red envelopes, commonly known as 'hongbao' in Mandarin, are a key element in Chinese New Year celebrations. They are typically filled with money and symbolize luck and fortune. It is a tradition to give your kids and younger relatives these red envelopes as a blessing for prosperity in the new year.
So why red? In Chinese culture, red is a color associated with good luck and happiness. The red envelope is a tangible expression of these wishes, making it a cherished part of the Chinese New Year.
Fun and Easy Chinese New Year Activities for Kids
Crafting is an excellent way for kids to engage with Chinese New Year festivities. Simple activities like dragon crafts made from toilet paper rolls or making Chinese paper lanterns can be both fun and educational. You can also introduce them to the Chinese zodiac wheel, which is a great way to teach them about Chinese characters and the zodiac animals.
Another interactive idea is cooking. Making dumplings or fortune cookies can be a delightful experience for the kids and gives them exposure to Chinese food culture. Through these activities, kids not only have fun but also learn a lot about Asian traditions and cultural traditions.
How to Immerse Your Kids in Chinese Culture and Traditions
For a complete experience, consider taking your kids to a local Chinese New Year parade or event, where they can witness the lion dance and the dragon dance. These are auspicious activities believed to bring luck and prosperity and are a significant part of the 15-day Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival.
Introduce your children to Mandarin phrases like "Gong Xi Fa Cai," which translates to "Happy New Year," to make them feel even more a part of the celebration. The aim is to create a comprehensive experience that is both fun and enlightening for your little ones.
- Dressing up is important for Chinese New Year, and outfits in red and gold can bring luck and prosperity.
- Red envelopes ('hongbao') are essential for imparting blessings of prosperity to kids.
- Crafts and cooking are fun ways to involve your kids in the celebration.
- Going to local Chinese New Year events can offer a full cultural experience.
Go ahead and celebrate this Chinese New Year with your kids in style!