**UPDATE February 3, 2016.. check out this additional post for more activities to use with Chinese New Year or to learn about Chinese music and customs!
Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout Asia and is coming January 31 this year (2014)! It marks the Spring Festival throughout Asia and this year is the year of the horse!
In a previous post last year I published a song here called "Xin Nian Kuai Le" which means "Happy New Year". VERY accessible!
We celebrate Chinese New Year at our school but also in our home as our daughter, now 6, was born in China and adopted into our family at 18 months. She loves everything about China and we celebrate Chinese New Year and Autumn Moon Festival!
At school we have a BIG assembly that is soooo much fun; complete with relay races, a noodle contest, the teachers participate in a fortune cookie eating contest and students stomp on bubble wrap to mimic the sounds of firecrackers. It is a fun celebration and the kids "get it" and understand the significant points of CNY (Chinese New Year) without worksheets, didactic instruction, or meaningless activities. We end the assembly with a fan dance performed by fourth graders and a dragon/lion dance. I taught this song while presenting at the Orff National Conference back in November and had to figure a way to inexpensively and easily constructed dragon that I could put at least 10-15 adults under. AND- I had to make it in a hotel room! So, here's what I came up with. It worked incredibly well and one lucky participant got to take it home. I wish I had pictures of the participants moving and dancing underneath it; pretty awesome!! The best part.. SIX DOLLARS!!!!!! For the WHOLE dragon/lion!