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Celebrating Lunar New Year in the Classroom

I LOVE celebrating Lunar New Year in my classroom! This is such an amazing holiday that stretches out over two weeks – how amazing is that?!

There are so many wonderful traditions that families across the world honor and I love when my students share how their own families celebrate!

As you introduce the idea of Lunar New Year, it’s important to remind students that every family celebrates differently – just as they may celebrate Christmas or Easter differently than their own classmates.

Although many of the traditions are similar throughout Asia, each country has its own unique traditions and foods that they use in their celebrations.

Activities for Lunar New Year

I could fill all two weeks of this holiday with activities in my classroom! Keep reading to learn about a few of my favorite ideas!


To kick off our unit, I introduce important vocabulary related to Lunar New Year. We discuss the importance of each word. These words are the perfect addition to a Center to give your students a chance to put the words in ABC order {there is also a worksheet included to give your students this opportunity, too}

Lunar New Year Mini-Book + Zodiac Posters + Zodiac Spinner

We discuss that each year is represented by one of twelve animals. Each animal embodies important characteristics that those born in that year possess. I like to hang all of the posters in the classroom so the students can see what each animal represents.

Then, we put together a spinner so the students can share with their families all about these animals. The kids get so excited when they figure out what animal represents the year they were born!

Next, we illustrate this fun little mini-book! It gives the students a chance to read about the important traditions and illustrate.

Since the dragon is such an important symbol for Lunar New Year, we always make this darling puppet! It’s simple to do – you just need two popsicles for each student!

Zodiac Art

I absolutely LOVE making these fun handprint animals each Lunar New Year!

My only tip: call your students to a small table in your room and make these animals in small groups! It’s way easier than trying to manage this as a whole group activity.

Lunar New Year Worksheets

There are worksheets that you can follow up with – they are great for homework, Centers, or early finishers!

You can find the Lunar New Year in the Lucky Store!

Books for Lunar New Year

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How can I narrow my favorite books to just a few?! I will note that most books you find focus on Chinese New Year instead of Lunar New Year. Just keep that in mind as you read to your students!

Lunar New Year by Hannah Eliot is a wonderfully illustrated story that gives a beautiful overview of how this amazing holiday is celebrated in China.

I’ve had Bringing in the New Year in my classroom for years! This story follows one family as they prepare for the upcoming New Year. It’s filled with great vocabulary, too!

Sam and the Lucky Money is a book with a big message – giving to others. Sam is so excited to spend his leisees {money from his red envelope} but he’s disappointed when he discovers it’s not enough to buy all the things he wishes for. However, Sam quickly discovers he can share his small fortune with someone who needs much more than he does.

Videos About Lunar New

Here are a few informative videos that give lots of great information about New Year!

This next video was made in 2021 {so it highlights the Year of the Ox} but it’s still filled with great information about the holiday. It also mentions many of the other Asian countries that celebrate Lunar New Year.

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Do you have any favorite activities for celebrating Lunar New Year?

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