Chinese New Year happens at the end of January or early February every year. The Chinese New Year date changes because it follows a lunar calendar. Your students can learn more fun facts about this holiday by performing/watching this simple short play.
Excerpt from the Play:
Anh Celebrates the New Year
By Elaine Appleton
Anh: Hi, everyone. Would you like to celebrate the Chinese New Year with me?
Mark, Sara and Jane: Yes! We would love to!
Sara: But, Anh, what is the Chinese New Year? Is it the same as the American New Year?
Anh: I’m glad you asked Sara because the two holidays are not the same.
Mark: Well, I want to know, too.
Jane: Yeah, Anh, me too!
Anh: Okay, I’m happy to explain it to you. It is a really important celebration for my family.
We prepare for months in advance and really look forward to it every year. The Chinese New Year starts with the first full moon of the new year and ends fifteen days later. So, the entire celebration lasts two weeks and one day.
Jane: You mean the festival starts with the full moon…like the moon in the sky?
Anh: You know the moon has full cycles, don’t you?
Jane: Yes, of course I knew that.
Mark: (Whispering) How did you know that?
Anh: We celebrate the Chinese New Year according to what is called the Lunar Year which means the moon year. The celebration is a way to get rid of old things from the year and allow in new things.
Sara: So, what do you do for fifteen days?
Anh: That’s a good question. I’m still a little confused and have a hard time keeping the days straight but let me try to explain. New Year’s Eve is a day to celebrate our family and ancestors. New Year’s Day we have a feast which is kind of like the American Thanksgiving and we celebrate everything we are thankful for. Most Chinese don’t eat meat on this day because we believe it will help us live longer.
Mark: In America a lot of people eat black eyed peas on New Year’s for good luck.