6 Ways we’re celebrating Lunar New Year

jcrew emilie sweater madewell jeans h&m girls dress
J.Crew cotton sweater jacket xxs (the best!), Madewell wide crop jeans 24 petite, Ann Taylor shoes (similar). On Nori: H&M tulle dress

Happy almost Year of the Dragon! Lunar New year is undoubtedly the most important holiday in my family’s culture, and I have such fond memories of celebrating it (feeling all the nostalgia reading this post from Guangzhou)! After having kids, it became more important to me to learn and share pieces of my culture alongside the language. It’s not always easy especially in a multi-cultural household, but if they grow up even a tiny bit proud of this part of themselves, then it’ll have been worth it!

Here are a few ways we’ll be celebrating:

Source: dragon clothespin puppet template (I signed up for a free account)

1. Crafting + sharing at school

It made my heart happy that Nori asked me to come back to her school and share about LNY again! Last year for Pre-K I read a book (see #6 below), shared Asian fruits and made paper lanterns with the class. This year for her Kindergarten class, I’ll be sharing this dragon clothespin craft (using ours to clip bags of snacks) and handing out red envelopes filled with these temporary dragon tattoos.

Downloadable templates: I got mine from Twinkl, a gem of a website for educators! I randomly stumbled upon this site, made a free account (quick & easy; required for downloading content) and found it to be a wealth of resources, crafts and activities for kids. There’s multiple printouts and even video tutorials for just Lunar New Year alone.

2. Wearing Red

In Chinese culture red is very auspicious, symbolizing good luck, good fortune, and many other good things! And for after the fesitivities are over, I always love a classic red year-round either as a statement piece or small accent to an outfit.

Lunar New Year
one // two // three // four // five // six

3. Eating Noodles (long noodles = long life)

“Changshou mian,” or “long-life noodles” symbolize a life of longevity, happiness, and health. Nick makes delicious Asian Garlic Noodles (our #1 most made recipe on the blog) which the kids always slurp up, and we’ll be making this as a side dish to serve alongside traditional Hong Kong style BBQ meats.

easy asian shrimp and garlic noodles recipe

4. Reading Books

My kids have enjoyed Peppa Pig Chinese New Year and Grace Lin’s Bringing In the New Year since they. were babies. The first one was more fun for her Pre-K class, while the second one is informative about traditional Chinese customs for LNY with lovely illustrations.

5. Giving Red Envelopes

Traditionally, children and unmarried young adults receive lucky “hong bao” or red envelopes filled with money from relatives and close friends. I bought my envelopes on Amazon, but I believe banks like Chase and Wells Fargo provide red envelopes for free for their customers, or you can buy them at Asian groceries.

I was never taught this growing up, but learned in recent years that it’s important to give and receive the envelopes with both hands. You can read a little more about the history and customs surrounding red envelopes here.

how to cook potstickers crispy bottoms from frozen chinese dumplings

6. Making Dumplings

See my reel video here on our dumpling-folding technique and an easy recipe we use for the filling.

Dumplings are the shape of gold nuggets from ancient China and represent prosperity in the new year. I have fond memories from growing up of our whole family -young and old- getting involved with dumpling making on holidays. My mom and relatives insist on dumplings made fully from scratch, but I find that store-bought wrappers as a shortcut make it a lot more feasible for me to continue this tradition!

7. Attending a local traditional Lion Dance

For fellow Bostonians, here’s the info for the festivities in Chinatown!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Andrea Unikowsky wrote:

    Such a nice post!

    Posted 2.17.24 Reply
  2. Grace wrote:

    I was just looking for red outfit ideas, thank you! Your garlic noodles are our favorite recipe. For craft ideas, Chalk Academy is an AAPI mom website with easy Lunar New Year printable templates we use at our school. Thanks for recommending Twinkl, too.

    Posted 2.6.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Grace, thank you so much for this info! I have enjoyed following Chalk Academy on IG. Happy Lunar New Year!

      Posted 2.7.24 Reply
  3. Christi wrote:

    Hi Jean! Thanks for sharing this lovely post. As a homeschooling mom, I love Twinkl! How do you feel about non-Chinese people celebrating Lunar New Year? I am not Chinese by ancestry & I always wonder about cultural appropriation. How do you feel about non- Chinese people celebrating this holiday? Thanks!

    Posted 2.6.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Christi! Thanks for your comment and I’d actually love to hear others’ thoughts on this, which is a relevant topic for holidays in other cultures, too.

      Personally, I’d love it if a friend chooses to partake by teaching their kids via LNY books and crafts, or attending a cultural show like a Lion dance in Chinatown. As long as the participation is done with respect to the culture and with research on whether it’s actually appropriate. Honestly there’s so many things I didn’t even know about my culture (like using two hands for red envelopes = respect) that I only realized when others corrected me!

      Posted 2.6.24 Reply
      • Teresa wrote:

        Ah yes! I made a point of telling my kids to receive red envelopes with both hands before visiting family in Taiwan. More instances of using both hands to receive and give:

        1) Students in East Asia use both Hu when personally handing something to their teachers, like homework.

        2) Use both hands when receiving a business card in Japan.

        Posted 2.11.24 Reply
  4. Diana wrote:

    Thanks for this post! Always looking for ways to incorporate Asian traditions in our multicultural household. Really appreciate you sharing!

    Posted 2.6.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Of course! I hope you enjoy celebrating!

      Posted 2.6.24 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?