Activities You Can Do at Home on Lunar New Year


Photo by David Kim


The Lunar New Year or Spring Festival in China is a holiday celebrated all over the world. This is because of how heavily the Chinese New Year influenced countries like Tibet (Losar), Korea (Seollal), Vietnam (Tết), the Philippines, and many other Asian and Western countries. 

 

The Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar and it is also the reason why it's also called Lunar New Year in some parts of the world. The Philippines celebrates and treats this as a special non-working holiday as one of the countries being influenced by the Chinese culture centuries ago. 


As Filipinos have this unusual thirst for celebration (the Philippines is also known to celebrate Christmas the longest as early as September), they enjoy celebrating the festive time of the Chinese New Year. The bustling streets of Binondo, Maynila (known to be the oldest Chinatown, dating back 15th- 16th Century or way before that) is filled with many red lanterns, stores paste their couplets to bring luck and ward evil from entering them, and the beating of the heavy, rhythmic drums accompanying people who perform the Dragon and Lion dance. This mixture of red and gold is a sign that this holiday is celebrated by many. 


However, when unprecedented events like the COVID-19 pandemic hit many people’s lives, strict regulations and travel restrictions are being mandated by the government resulting in some festivals being canceled.


But there’s always a way to celebrate this holiday in the comforts of your own home. 


Cook and Enjoy a Meal

Holidays aren’t complete without serving food for the event, and there’s no mistake that people like to follow some superstitions especially during the Lunar New Year. Filipinos tend to buy  tikoy, cook dumplings and dishes with noodles as their staple where it is believed to give longer life.  Preparing 12 different fruits to signify the 12 animals corresponding to the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs.


Photo by David Kim

  READ: Lucky Foods to Serve During the Lunar New Year


Make Your Own Spring Couplet

Lunar New Year is also known as Spring Festival in China as this New Year event usually starts at the beginning of the season of Spring. Making a pair of Spring Couplets and hanging or pasting them at the entryway of someone’s home is a long-time tradition. 


Cyclohexane233, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can make them yourselves at home! What you only need to have is a calligraphy brush with black or gold ink but a marker or brush pen is also good to use, and red calligraphy paper or construction paper. You don’t have to be well-versed in the Chinese language as there are available couplets that you can get from the internet. Writing down Chinese characters may be the only challenge you might encounter but hey, It’s fun!


Watch Chinese Movies at Home When You Can't Watch a Dragon and Lion Dance Outside

Some cities like the Philippines prohibit mass gatherings because of the pandemic so the tradition of watching Dragon and Lion Performances on the streets is minimal or may be postponed. No worries, there are a  few pages in social media that stream these dances online but if your interest is not the same as one seeing it in person, you can opt-in going to online streaming platforms, like Netflix or Amazon Prime that are readily available in various countries, but local tv stations also program some Chinese movies alongside their schedule. 


Image by mjimages from Pixabay

Here are some well-known Chinese movies you can binge-watch while at home: 

  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Lost in Journey
  • Wing Chun
  • Comrades: Almost a Love Story
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Drunken Master 2
  • Once upon a time in China series
  • Wu Kong 


Wear Red on Lunar New Year

Every New Year celebration there is always a new color to be worn to celebrate the Holiday but in Lunar New Year wearing Red (add a touch of gold) is a tradition for this holiday.  But why Red? You asked.


Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

Red is a popular color in Chinese culture. It is popular even popular during the Chinese New Year as the color red symbolizes fire and is believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits. You will see lanterns, couplets paper-cuttings and other decorations to be dyed in red.


Make your own Paper Lantern

Another way to show your appreciation during the holiday is to create your own paper lanterns. It doesn’t require too many art skills but surely you can do this as it's pretty easy and only requires a few materials that you will probably see at home or office. You can also recycle old ang pao’s or red envelopes. 


Photo by Michael Guerrero from Pexels

And no, you can’t put candles inside these paper lanterns as they might set fire to your small creations probably best to leave it as it is. Maybe use fairy lights or insert fake, battery-operated candles inside.


Materials you’ll need to create Paper lanterns:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Stapler and/or Tape
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Pen 


Here are some videos you can watch on making your own Lunar New Year decorations:

5 DIY decorations for Lunar Chinese New year

Chinese Lantern | DIY Home decors | Papercraft ideas | Room decoration | Simple Wall hangings

賀年摺紙| DIY Chinese New Year Red Packet Decor | Easy Angpow Lantern


No matter how you celebrate your holidays, what’s important is we greet each new year with the hope of good fortune to our family and friends. 


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