The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Sometimes called the Spring Festival, this celebration includes dozens of age-old traditions.
These days, Lunar New Year isn't just Chinese New Year, it's marked with major celebrations in countries all over the world, including Vietnam, South Korea, and places like America where large populations have Asian heritage.
Lunar New Year celebrations include traditional foods, activities, and even crafts. If you're looking to learn more about Lunar New year, or celebrate in your own way, here are a few easy Lunar New Year crafts.
Lanterns are a large part of the Lunar New year in both activity and decor. If you plan on lighting your lantern, it's best you purchase a DIY paper lantern kit that is designed specifically for holding a flame. It's no surprise that paper and fire aren't a great combo if you're not careful.
If you just want lamps for decor, grab red card stock, scissors, some glue, and brads. There are dozens of paper lantern tutorials online ranging from very complicated to surprisingly simple.
You can use origami to create one of these traditional decorations or go for a simplified version that requires a lot less folding. Kids and adults alike can participate in this activity and you can even use different tutorials for different skill levels.
Paper Bag Puppets
Paper bag puppets are a fun and easy way to incorporate dragons into your holiday celebration. Using your imagination, or a template, use paints and markers to draw a traditional dragon puppet face on the fold of your paper bag.
We used a reference photo to help, but if you want to, see what you can come up with using your imagination. Use large brown lunch sacks to make this craft fun and easy.
Animal symbols play a large part in Lunar New Year traditions (2022 will be a year of the tiger) so a fun way to get kids and adults engaged with the holiday is by making masks.
For this craft, we recommend finding a template you like and stocking up on lots of paper and decorative items. You'll also need glue, a popsicle stick, and scissors.
We found a free template online to create our masks, but if you want to get creative try making your own. Consider learning about some of the traditional symbolism of the dragon as you create your one-of-a-kind mask.
Egg Carton Dragons
If you want to involve little learners in your celebration, make egg carton dragons. To make an egg carton dragon, you will need an old paper egg carton, red paint, a black marker, hot glue, and some pipe cleaner.
Cut up the egg carton pieces and form the shape of a dragon. With adult supervision, hot glue the pieces together to form the basic shape of the dragon. Then, once the glue has dried, paint the dragon red.
Once the paint is dry, add a face using the black marker and pipe cleaner, and then decorate the rest of the dragon. It's a fun, easy craft that keeps little kids engaged with the holiday.
Now we know these aren't all that traditional, but these lanterns are a fun, easy DIY. If you have old takeout containers, this is a great way to upcycle them. Take your takeout box and use a hole punch or a drill to put holes in the sides of the container. Create whatever pattern you like.
Once you are done punching the pattern you like, drop a tea light into the container and light it. Your DIY lantern should cast fun shadows all over the dark room.
If DIYs aren't really your thing, take some time to learn a little more about the traditions of the Lunar New year in a way that you love. If you have little kids at home, there are tons of great picture books about the Lunar New year written by authors of Asian heritage that bring the traditions of this fun time of year to life.