About Chinese New Year for kids learning in Primary School. Learn about the history of Chinese New Year and why we celebrate it.
What is the Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year marks the end of a long winter and the beginning of spring. The New Year is to celebrate the earth coming back to life and the beginning of things growing.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
What is the Chinese Zodiac?
The Chinese Zodiac is over 12 years. Each of those 12 years has an animal sign. The 12 signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. You can use a Chinese Zodiac calculator to see what animal sign any year is.
Enter your birth date into the Chinese Zodiac calculator and see what animal sign you are.
Celebrate the Lunary New Year with these quick and easy Chinese New Year crafts for kids.
Make a Chinese New Year craft.
History of the Chinese Calendar. See what the link is between the five elements and the twelve animals.
In order, the 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.
The Chinese Zodiac story
A long, long time ago, the Jade Emperor in China decided that there needed to be a way to measure time so he got all the animals to take part in a swimming race. The first twelve animals to cross the river will each have a year named after them.
And so the raced started. The rat and the cat were worried about crossing the river because they weren’t strong swimmers so they asked the ox if they could cross on the ox’s back. The ox kindly agreed and as they got to the other side the cheeky rat pushed the cat into the water and jumped onto the bank. He was the first to win. The ox then got out of the river and came second.
Third to succeed was the tiger despite the river being difficult for him as it was fast flowing. The rabbit however, hopped across easily on stones and logs floating by, so he was fourth.
The dragon was next to finish. When the Emperor asked why didn’t he just fly across and come first, the dragon said that he was busy making rain for the people and animals as they were thirsty. Then he saw a rabbit stuck on a log and he blew him across the river. Consequently, the Emperor was happy to give the fifth year to the kind dragon.
Just as the horse was about to become the next to arrive, a snake slithered out from it’s hooves. The surprised horse stepped back and the snake became sixth and the horse seventh.
The goat, monkey and rooster came across the river on a raft that they all shared. The Emperor gave the eighth year to the goat, the ninth to the monkey and the tenth to the rooster.
The dog was a great swimmer but he was only eleventh because he stopped to have a bath in the clean water. The pig was equally slow, stopping to eat and have a little sleep before making it’s journey and therefore, the pig was the last, twelfth.
And what happened to the cat? The cat finally arrived, just after the pig, but it was too late to have a year named after him. He was cross with the rat for pushing him in and therefore, cats have never been friends with rats.