It’s Chinese New Year this weekend. It begins on the second full moon after the winter solstice.   The Chinese celebrate this time of year with their family.  Traditionally they have the most important meal of the year together called the ‘reunion meal’.

This years Chinese animal is the Rooster.  Have a look at this link  Chinese New Year to find out which year is your animal year.

You could make some crafts with your kids :- Dragon picture  Chinese writing lantern bunting  Chinese bedroom lanterns.

We headed off to Liverpool last year, it was a feast for the eyes. Chinese lanterns and flags fluttered across the icy blue skies, fairground rides whizzed and firecrackers popped, a joyful celebration.

My youngest son was given a gold and red envelope which had money inside it. Traditionally in China children sleep with envelopes under their pillow to bring good fortune and happiness.

We enjoy learning about other people’s cultures and values by studying their art, food and lifestyle. We watched a tai chi group, and attempted to participate with them.

A lettuce is hung outside each business (see above). The dragon eats the lettuce and does a lion dance. The lion symbolises bring good wealth and fortune to anyone who invites it.

Street vendors sell hot spicy noodles and dishes. We bought this umbrella from a lovely lady on the high street. (We used it on hot summer festival days to stop ourselves burning!)

So if you do find a local celebration remember that red clothing is considered essential, as it is said to scare off the mythical monster Nian.