Seasons of Service

Chinese New Year ~ Ancient Tradition with New Service

What better way to beat the Holiday Gimmees and observe Red Letter Days than to practice good deeds? Here's a way to discover the true meaning of holidays and heroes. Please join us in celebrating the following Season of Service.

The New Year begins on the first day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It lasts for fifteen days and is known also as the Spring Festival that celebrates winter's passing. This is a special time for children who receive new clothes, shoes, and gifts of money. What could be a better season for youngsters to share traditional joys? Students can serve their home and community by bringing cheer to the elderly and the hospitalized; writing messages to their parents; beautifying their classrooms and school environments; performing skits; and organizing fun activities for their younger peers.

Clean Start To sweep away ill-fortune and welcome good luck, Chinese families prepare for the New Year by thoroughly cleaning their homes. Bring this tradition to school and clean student desks and lockers. Decorate classrooms and halls with traditional red scrolls inscribed with good luck sayings.

First Flowers Since flowers symbolize good fortune, folk decorate their homes with peonies, narcissi, and flowering branches of plum or peach. Force spring bulbs amaryllis, tulips, paper-white narcissus, and grape hyacinths in school. Observe and chart the plants' growth. Then visit an elderly center to bring flowering plants and sing New Year song.

Origin of Chinese New Year Go online to research how a Chinese God disguised as an old man scared away the monster Nian. Write a skit about this legend. Perform it for an audience of young and old.

Red Envelopes with a Message On New Year's Eve, parents give children and unmarried adults red envelopes filled with money. Read Sam and the Lucky Money in class. Then make envelopes or licee. Write messages describing jobs students will perform at home. Instead of money, place messages in envelopes and present them to parents.

Lighten up with Riddles Held on the fifteenth day of the New Year, the Lantern Festival marks the year's first full moon. It marks the end to celebrations and signals the return to daily routines. Traditionally, riddles are hung on lanterns or walls for a lantern riddle contest. Make multicolored geometric lanterns and attach riddles to their bases. Invite younger peers contribute riddles and award small prizes to participants.


Story TimeVisit the local library and borrow picture books on Chinese New Year. Back at school, hold a Read Aloud for kindergartners and first graders.

More Chinese New Year Web Sites

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