Do you know there are 38 different local times in use around the world? Therefore it takes 26 hours for the New Year to actually be celebrated by all on Earth!
Did you also know that New Year's is not always January 1? Chinese New Year is celebrated not by calendar year but by the cycle of the new moon. Buddhists in Thailand celebrate a three day water festival called Songkran in April. In the Middle Ages in Europe the new year began on March 25. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the new year on January 14, Persian New Year on March 21, and one Hindu celebration in India occurs in April or May. Read more here.
The idea for this lesson came first from my Chinese New Year song called, "Xin Nian Kuai Le". Check out this post with the song and additional activities to use for January and February to go with Chinese New Year. My daughter was adopted from China, and so the idea of New Year not occurring on January 1 is not new to me as we celebrate Chinese New Year in our family and also at my school. I began to think of New Year celebrations our students might celebrate and wanted to have something to be inclusive of all students. This also provides a wonderful opportunity to talk about differences while including everyone in the conversation about culture and celebrations.
The movement idea I first imagined was something like this, only with dancers lying on sides or kneeling on floor, something simple and synchronized with clock like movements.
I hope you enjoy, and be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you did with it!
As always, if you want the full pdf of the above, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.