Toddler Activities: A Preview of Chinese New Year Activities

What Is Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting with the family, celebration, fireworks, and gift-giving. It is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year.

Dragon Puppet
Make a Dragon Puppet with our free printable pattern
Firecracker and Confetti

Celebrate Chinese New Years and make a festive picture.

Gung Hee Fat Choy Banner

Happy New Chinese...Gung Hee Fat Choy Banner

Chinese New Year Banner
Make Lisee

Make a Good Luck Money Envelope to share with a friend.

Memory Match

Play Memory Match with Chinese numerals.

Chinese Numbers Game
Peachtree Blossoms

Peach Blossoms play a significant role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Here is a unique way to use paint and tissue. A fun toddler activity

The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories which explain this. The simplest is that Buddha invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Depending on the year you are born, you are believed to have the various character traits of that year's animal.

When is Chinese New Year?

2008 February 7: Year of the Rat
2009 January 26: Year of the Ox
2010 February 14: Year of the Tiger
2011 February 3: Year of the Rabbit
2012 January 23: Year of the Dragon
2013 February 10: Year of the Snake
2014 January 31: Year of the Horse
2015 February 19: Year of the Sheep
2016 February 8: Year of the Monkey
2017 January 28: Year of the Rooster
2018 February 16: Year of the Dog
2019 February 5: Year of the Pig