Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year's Presentations

The Lunar New Year's Festival is one of the most important festivals for Asian people in many countries all over the world. It marks the beginning of spring according to the lunar calendar. Often referred to as Chinese New Year, it is also called Tet by the Vietnamese, Sol by the Koreans, and Losar by the Tibetans. And it is not only celebrated in Asian countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia; but also in America, England, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, etc. In fact, it has been celebrated in the United States for over 150 years and if we lived in San Francisco, California, it would be a school holiday!

Lunar New Year's Day generally occurs in mid-January to late-February and lasts two weeks.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang and students from the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan are available to speak and perform during the Lunar New Year's season.

However, please contact early to make arrangements for any Lunar New Year's presentations or performances as we typically have 40-60 events and requests in a one-month period of time, ranging from very big community celebrations to small preschool group talks. (If we cannot come this time, then either we will suggest others in our network or perhaps try for March or April when we have more time).

Please also note that these performers are children aged 3-18 and so are not able to perform during school hours, too late at night, too far away from Ann Arbor, or if they have too much homework. Red Envelopes with $1-$8+ are requested for each performer.

The content of Ms. Wang's Lunar New Year's Presentation will depend on the length of time available, the age and restlessness of the audience, and what other performances or activities might be included at your event. Stories can be performed by audience volunteers as interactive plays (with costumes!). Props, costumes, lion heads, and a Power point presentation with photos are available to help focus children's attention if necessary.

Content may include:

Introduction to Lunar New Year's--where, when, why, what
Story of the Nian monster
Foods of the Lunar New Year's feast
Story of the silver dumplings
Everybody's Birthday (and noodles)
Spring Couplets (Poems)
Why "Good Luck" and "Spring" are hung upside down
Red Envelopes and Firecrackers
Chinese calendars are lunar-solar
Twelve animals of the zodiac (and how to count to 13) and how to say this year's animal sign in Mandarin
Math tricks to amaze your friends and impress your enemies
Story of the cat and the mouse
The Lantern Festival
Story of Yuan Xiao Maiden
The Lunar New Year's Parade--invented in America
Lion Dancing and Dragon Dancing
Chinese Dragons bring the spring rains (and can't breathe fire)
Story of the Carp who became a Dragon
Geography: Lions come from Africa and have four legs
Story of the First Lion Dance
Crash course in How to Lion Dance
How to say "Happy New Year" in Mandarin and Cantonese
Rousing "Gong Xi Gong Xi" Singalong finale


Resources:

Celebrating Lunar New Year at IMDiversity.com Asian American Village--Special New Year Readings and Activities Section

Chinese New Year: The Kid-Friendly Version
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Contributing Editor
Every year Frances gives a presentation to her daughters' school class

Discovering Chinese New Year’s
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Contributing Editor
After discovering Chinese New Year’s at 12, Wang now celebrates a more traditional New Year than her parents ever did. Is it still tradition when you make it all up out of a book?

Tet Nguyen Dan
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Contributing Editor
An introduction to Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Sol - Korean Lunar New Year
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Contributing Editor
An introduction to Korean Lunar New Year

Losar: The Tibetan New Year
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Contributing Editor
An introduction to Tibetan Lunar New Year

Celebrating the Chinese New Year
By the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco
A primer on traditional and modern celebrations

Celebrating the Lantern Festival
By the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco
Taking place under a full moon, the festival marks the end of New Year festivities.

Chinese Lunar Calendar and Zodiac
By the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco
An informative primer on the background to the calendar, the legends of the 12 animals, and how the Chinese version of the Lunar calendar corresponds to the Gregorian calendar through the year 2019

History of the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade
By the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade
As early as the 1860's, Gold Rush Chinese were eager to share their culture


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