Chinese New Year is one of the most important Chinese holidays and is celebrated across east and south-east Asia. Also known as the spring festival, it celebrates the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing.
Traditions include an annual reunion dinner for families on new year's eve and the decorating of doors and windows with intricate red paper designs. People thoroughly clean their homes to sweep away any ill-fortunes and children are given money inside red paper envelopes.
Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, held on the full moon 15 days after the new year - a time when people hang glowing lanterns in the windows of their houses and dancers carry dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo through the streets collecting money.
2013 is the year of the snake.
BBC class clips: Chinese New Year
The whole of China comes to a standstill at Chinese New Year, or 'Spring Festival', as it is more commonly known in Chinese.
- Snakes and Dragons
British Council resource pack for primary schools, prepared in conjunction with the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools, to introduce children to some of the differences and similarities between the lives and culture of people in the UK and China.
- Illustrations of festivals
Downloadable illustrations of festivals such as Bonfire Night, Burns Night, Chinese New Year, Hallowe'en, Harvest Festival and Valentine's Day.
- China Cultural Information Net
Information on arts and culture in China
- China Education and Research Network
Website containing articles, news and events about education in China, as well as resources and information about research and development in China. Contains link to Chinese version of the site.
- China Now
China Now is the largest ever festival of Chinese culture in the UK. It launches in February 2008, with a series of high-profile events and a spectacular firework display to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year.
- Chinapage - Chinese/English calendar
An introduction to the Chinese calendar and how astronomers developed it.
- Wikipedia - Chinese New Year
- Find out how to say 'Happy New Year' and 'Be prosperous' in this Wikipedia entry for Chinese New Year. Learn information about the celebrations and find links to other websites.
- Pandas UK blog
Education Scotland blog with news, resources and curriculum links about pandas, to celebrate the arrival of Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo in December 2011.