The most important celebration in the Chinese calendar is also celebrated in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines, among other countries and territories with large Chinese populations. In China, people may take off several weeks to prepare for and enjoy festivities including family reunions, traditional meals, dancing dragons, and lantern festivals.
At least two school districts in the U.S. close for one day of the 15-day holiday, a.k.a. Spring Festival, and now politicians in Queens advocate making the lunar New Year an official holiday state-side. Students in the U.S. whose schools do not close often miss a day of school.
Did you know there are different traditions for each day of the 15-day Chinese New Year? Learn more about them here: “Chinese New Year Facts: 20 Things To Know About The Lunar New Year”.
While the holiday doesn’t officially begin until this Friday, January 31st, festivities are already underway in Kansas City. The KC Chinese American Association celebrated Sunday, January 19th, at Johnson County Community College. The Society for Friendship with China event Sunday, January 26th, at UMKC included a buffet, silent auction, and entertainment, and the Kansas City Chinese Association celebrated Saturday, January 18th at Blue Valley Northwest High School with dinner and stage entertainment.
If you haven’t been properly wished “Gong hey fat choy,” there’s still time. Ring in the year of the horse at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s annual celebration this Friday, January 31st. There will be traditional music, dancing, tea tasting, games, and yo-yo and calligraphy demonstrations.
Teachers, check out these Chinese New Year crafts and activities for your classroom.