Lunar New Year, but make it stickers.
I'm sharing with you my favorite cultural traditions in the Chinese New Year holiday. I'm also making Lunar New Year stickers for my students! Keep reading, and I have the sticker files you can download at the end :)
What is Lunar New Year?
It's the celebration of the arrival of spring. It's called Lunar New Year because it's based on the lunisolar calendar. In other words, it is the start of Lunar New Year is the start of the new moon calendar year. It happens around January/February - the dates are different every year. This year (2023), it started on January 22nd.
I'll be discussing more of the Chinese traditions (different Asian countries celebrate in varied ways!) The festival lasts for fifteen days. The color of this holiday is red (wear it, decorate your house with it, etc.). Food is an important part of this holiday because each dish is symbolic. For example, we display a WHOLE chicken on the table (head and all) to represent luck and wholeness. We eat longevity noodles (think really long spaghetti) to represent a long life. Fish symbolizes prosperity. You get the point!
You may have heard of the zodiac animals. There are 12 animals in the zodiac calendar. They each have different characteristics and personality traits. This year (2023) is the year of the rabbit. If you are born in 2023, you would be a rabbit. It cycles through each animal; this means your "animal year" occurs every 12 years when you are 12 years old, 24, 36, 48, 60, and so on. (See chart below, sourced from Google lol).
Another fun and common tradition is the lucky red envelopes. These red envelopes are given by older/elderly people and married couples to younger people, especially children. Inside is filled with money! This is a gift to represent prosperity and good fortune.
How my family celebrates
Fun fact, I am Chinese! My family celebrates Lunar New Year (LNY) every year. My family gathering is small, but the food spread is grand.
My grandparents used to own a Chinese restaurant and their cooking is a literal *chef's kiss* - so yes, they enjoy cooking the feast for us! Some years we have supported local Chinese restaurants and catered food from them, too. It takes the ease off cooking for my grandparents, anyway. (This is the part where people ask me, "Have you learned to cook from your grandparents then?!" and I say, "uh, not yet, I should!" *heats up frozen food for dinner tonight*)
No matter where the food comes from, food brings people together.
We dress in red, eat the 9 (more or less) course meal and enjoy each other's company. I get lucky red envelopes filled with money from my grandparents, parents, and aunts/uncles. One day when I'm married, I'll have to give out envelopes to the singles/younger people, but for now, I'm okay with being on the receiving end. :)
Teaching this holiday in my classroom
You may know that I'm a first grade classroom teacher. Diversity and inclusion is important to teach in my classroom - this includes sharing about cultures and traditions around the world. I'm grateful to be able to share my Chinese New Year traditions. Giving my students a lucky red envelope is the perfect way to end the lesson. Obviously, I can't give the kids money, so I decided I'm going to DIY and make some stickers for them!
I got the rabbit design on Canva since I'm not selling these stickers. Keep reading for how you can download this Lunar New Year rabbit file.
2023 Lunar New Year Stickers
If you have friends, kids, or students that you want to make stickers for, you can download the sticker file below. I've written a blog post on how to make stickers with a Cricut so you can check it out if you're new to making stickers at home.
Enjoy the digital sticker files and remember they're for personal use only :)
- Lunar New Year Rabbit Sticker file
- Lucky red envelopes (with rabbit design)
- Sticker paper
- Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Cutting Mat Dupe
- Canon Pixma Printer
Let me know if you make some DIY stickers - I'd love to see how yours turned out!
Wishing you good fortune, prosperity, and happiness in the new year.
Happy new year,