10 Simple Chinese New Year Activities

After adopting our son (born in China), we have been learning more about the Chinese culture and incorporating some of their traditions into our home.  One of the biggest holidays in China is the Chinese New Year or its also referred to as the Lunar New Year.  

Chinese New Year is a two-week celebration full of lots of fun activities for the whole family culminating at the end with the Chinese Lantern Festival.  In 2021, it begins February 12 and it’s the year of the ox!

So, I thought I would share with you the 10 simple Chinese New Year activities we are doing to celebrate this year.  What Chinese New Year activities do you do?


1. Family Dinner

Many families in China travel to be together during the Chinese New Year much like Thanksgiving or Christmas in the United States.  They have a large meal together.  Since our family is not nearby we have opted to invite friends over for takeout Chinese food.  


family holding Chinese dumplings


2.  Eat Noodles and Dumplings

These two foods bring great meaning to the Chinese people, especially during the Chinese New Year.  Noodles symbolize long life and dumplings symbolize wealth, reunion and harmony.  

We actually took a dumpling-making class while we were in Beijing.  Our guide hid a hard lemon candy in one while we were making them.   The person that found it won a prize!  A fun idea for your Chinese New Year celebrations.


3. Clean the House

Cleaning the house is an important part of the Chinese New Year as they sweep away bad luck and usher in the new year.  I am pretty sure my kids think I made this one up because I am extra excited to incorporate this into our celebration :).


Chinese new year red envelopes


4. Gift Red Envelopes with Gold Coins

Adults often give red envelopes to children full of money.  We will fill our red envelopes with gold coin chocolates and gift them to our neighbors and friends as a way to celebrate!  You can find the red envelopes here and the gold coin chocolates here.  

Wrapping the money in a red envelope symbolizes more happiness and blessing to the recipient. 



5. Read Chinese New Year Books

Since the Chinese New Year is unfamiliar to many in the United States we bought a few books explaining the tradition and will read them as part of our dinner celebration.  

Here are a few of our favorite books so far –



6.  Decorate with Red and Gold

The color red is very important to the Chinese.  Not only is it the color of the flag but the color red symbolizes wealth and happiness.  They also put up banners around their doors to welcome new guests and keeps Nian the monster away.  Find the Chinese New Year banner here.


7. Make Hanging Lanterns

Ornate hanging lanterns have been used for both light and worship for centuries in China.  You can make a simple hanging lantern by folding a piece of paper in half and cutting it not quite to the edge.  Then open and fold into a circle and staple closed. 

Finish by affixing a paper strip with a staple to create a handle to hang.



Chinese paper lantern craft


8. Figure Out What Chinese Zodiac Animal You Are  

Each Chinese Year is named after a Chinese Zodiac Animal.  The Zodiac is on a 12-year cycle.  2021 is the year of the ox.  You can find your zodiac animal here.



9.  Drink Hot Tea

Drinking hot tea is a daily activity for the Chinese people, they believe it helps with their overall health and hygiene.  Unlike Americans, they drink loose leaf tea.  First, they rinse the tea leaves with hot water and then they steep the tea.  Check out the app Mighty Timer to learn how to steep all different kinds of teas.  

Different teas are drunk in different parts of China.  When we were in China, we learned tea from Quincy’s province is actually refrigerated so we couldn’t bring any home.


10.  Set Off Firecrackers or Noise Makers

The Chinese also set off lots of firecrackers and fireworks during the Chinese New Year so if you are feeling adventurous you could do the same.  The noise they believe scares away evil spirits.

In lieu, of firecrackers you could make your own firework noises with noise makers!


Why is the Chinese New Year so Important?

The Chinese New Year is a time for the Chinese to honor family and the deities they worship.  It’s the biggest holiday of the year and many of the government entities are closed for the duration of the holiday.  

We are excited to incorporate some of these traditions into our home and honor our son’s birth heritage.  How do you celebrate the Chinese New Year in your home?


Read More About Our International Adoption Here –

International Adoption Process

International Adoption Questions Answered

Gotcha Day

Orphanage Visit


You Might Also Like – 

Simple Kid’s Indoor Activities

Simple Valentine’s Day Activities

Simple Spring Kid’s Activities


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


**This Post Contains Affiliate Links**


Easy Chinese New Year Activities

Copyright © 2021 · Theme by 17th Avenue

%d bloggers like this: