Happy 2022! What a start to the new year. I know I’ve been MIA from here for months, but I’ve simply been in a bit of a creative funk. I’ve been less focused on myself and more focused on just… my life. (But more on that for another day.) Not only did we just wrap up a second year of this pandemic, but we are going into a third year. And guess what? That omicron wave hit our household.
Now that January is basically over, we’re ready to start this year off strong. I’m not talking about the New Year to welcome 2022, but the Lunar New Year to welcome the Year of the Tiger! And because of what happened with Michelle Li over the “regular” new year, I’ll be sporting my new #VeryAsian sweatshirt for everyone to know I’m very Asian and proud of it!
This year Lunar New Year is February 1, 2022. If you don’t know, every year the start of the Lunar New Year is different because it coincides with the lunar calendar, meaning the first month of the new lunar year starts during the new moon. But don’t think you only can celebrate on the eve or first day of the new moon. Lunar New Year is typically celebrated for 15 days, ending on the full moon.
Since we’ve been stuck at home, I’ve been trying to keep us all occupied with fun activities at home. This includes finding ways for us to celebrate Lunar New Year safely from the comfort of our home. In case you’re like us and are celebrating from home this year, or simply want to find ways to celebrate and introduce Lunar New Year to your kids, this list is for you!
5 Ways to Celebrate Lunar Year with Your Kids*
*This post contains affiliate links.
1. Decorate for the occasion
If there’s one way to hype my kids up for any holiday, it’s to decorate. Each year, I’m finding more and more places are selling Lunar New Year decorations. This year I got my new decorations at Target, but I also spotted a selection at Walmart that sold-out quickly. If you’re still looking for decor, I’d grab a few items on Amazon.
2. Read Lunar New Year Children’s Books
Over the past couple of years, I’ve picked up a few Lunar New Year books to teach my kids more about the celebration and to teach them more about their Chinese culture. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Lunar New Year
- Mulan’s Lunar New Year
- PJ Masks Save Lunar New Year
- Eyes that Kiss in the Corners
- My First Book of Chinese Words
- Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao
3. Get Dressed for the Occasion
To get super festive, I like to dress my girls in qipao/cheongsam inspired dresses. We’ve been doing it since my oldest was a baby, and each year the girls look forward getting dressed up. But you don’t need cultural garments to get festive. Simply wearing the color red for Lunar New Year is festive enough! The color red is a good luck color.
4. Do Lunar New Year Themed Arts-and-Crafts & Activities
Another way I like to get excited for Lunar New Year is by finding fun arts and crafts activities for them to do. Since my girls are both in school now and can do more hands on activities, I picked up this fun DIY Hanging Ornament Kit from Target for them. But if your kids are younger or maybe just like to color, a fun LNY coloring book will do too!
5. Make a Lunar New Year Treat or Meal
My family would tell you my love language is food. So of course for any occasion, you’ll find me in the kitchen. Lunar New Year is no exception. Because my husband is Chinese, the Lunar New Year food we enjoy are that of Chinese origin. But you can celebrate with food from so many different cultures. Just don’t forget your noodles and round foods!
Usually I’ll make my favorite egg custard tarts, but this year I’ve ventured into the world of dumplings thanks to the cookbook Let’s Make Dumplings! The kids book Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao also has a recipe for baos at the end of the book so I had to make those with the kids as well. Another great cookbook I picked up is Vietnamese Food Any Day.
- Give your kids red envelopes or “lucky money”. If you live in an area with a Chinatown, you can easily pick up some red envelopes in Chinatown at an inexpensive price. You can also purchase them on Amazon.
- Attend a local Lunar New Year event. Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco will be having it’s Lunar New Year parade again after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.
What are some other ways you like to celebrate Lunar New Year with your kids? I’d love to know more ideas for next year.
Gong Hei Fat Choy!