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PTO-How Do You Celebrate the Chinese New Year?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Chinese New Year

As we prepare for Lunar New Year, we thought it would be fun to share some of our families favorite traditions!  

Getting ready for Chinese New Year

To get ready to welcome in the new year and bring luck, we like to:

  • Get a haircut (even a little trim counts!)
  • Get new clothes and shoes (wear your new Red Qipao 旗袍  or Changsan 长衫 to LNY festival! )
  • Clean up and clean out your house - sweep away any bad luck along with that dust.

Chasing away the new year demon!

This is the most fun for our children!  The story goes that in olden days the demon Nian 年, would come out from his cave on New Year’s Day to eat all the food stores and any children outdoors.  People learned that they could scare Nian away by hanging red banners, disguising themselves with masks, making loud noises (with firecrackers (a.k.a. jumping on bubble wrap in the ‘firecracker dance’) and drums), and carrying special lanterns.

Favorite Foods

Lunar New Year is definitely about spending time with family and friends sharing a good meal.  Foods we particularly love to eat include:

1) Rice (米饭; mǐfàn) - Fertility, luck, wealth, link between Heaven (Gods) and Earth (Men)

2) Noodles ( 面条; miàntiáo) Uncut - Long life

3)  Three Winter Plate

To Include:  1. Snowpeas ( 荷兰豆; hélándòu) - Unity  2. Bamboo shoots ( 竹笋尖; zhú sǔn jiān) - New start  3.  Shitake (冬菇; dōnggū) -longevity, sizing opportunities

4) Fish (whole) - ( 鱼 yú) - Surplus of prosperity 

5)  Fish ball ( 鱼蛋; yúdàn) - Reunion (Round)

6)  Prawn ( 大虾; dàxiā) - Liveliness

7)  Chicken (whole) (鸡肉; jīròu) - Completeness & joy 

8)  Dumplings (饺子; jiǎozi) - Wealth 

9)  Turnip Cake (no pork) ( 萝卜糕; luó bo gāo) - Good omen

10)  Sweet Sticky Cake (年糕; nián'gāo)年年高升) - Advancemet & prosperity

11)  Red Bean Soup ( 红豆汤;Hong dou tang) - Sweet union

12)  Gluten Balls ( 汤圆;tāng yuán) Togetherness, reunion 

13)  Custard Egg(蛋挞 ; dàn tǎ) - fertility

14)  Fruit Platter:  

Tangerine (橘; jú) - luck

Grapes (葡萄; pútaó) - fertility

Pineapple (凤梨; fènglí) - wealth

Peach (桃; táo) - immortality

Pomelo (柚子; yòuzi) - abundance

Apples (苹果; píngguǒ) - wisdom, peace


Favorite Music

恭喜恭喜 (gong xi gong xi; Congratulations)

Nice translation and pinyin at

新年好 (Xin Nian hao; Happy New Year)

Nice translation and pinyin at


Favorite Books

Dragon Dance by Joan Holub

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

Celebrating the Chinese New Year by Sanmu Tang