I bet you didn’t know that Chinese New Year is upon us! That’s right, Chinese New Year is tomorrow, February 6th, and the picture book Celebrating Chinese Festivals is the perfect book to learn about this annual celebration!
The book educates readers about seven different Chinese festivals and street celebrations.
For Chinese New Year, the book tells of the couplets (banners) that are hung with the word “fu” meaning fortune, and how people celebrate by setting off firecrackers and doing the lion dance in the streets. Families also prepare sticky rice cakes and dumplings to eat during the celebration. Kids are also told the story of a dragon-like monster named “Xi” who wreaked havoc on the world, and the how the monster was defeated by Nian; the first day of the New Year is named after Nian (xin nian). This folk tale is featured along with others in the book.
Not only does the book highlights the seven celebrations with folk tales, it also features recipes, poems, and even riddles associated with the festivals to make learning about the celebrations extra fun. Other festivals featured in the book where folk tales or poems are shared include:
- Qingming Festival: features a poem written over 1,000 years ago by Du Mu of the Tang Dynasty.
- Lantern Festival: features riddles told at the lantern festival.
- Mid-Autumn Festival: features a folk tale about an archer named Houyi who saved the people from starvation and was made immortal by the Heavenly Emperor.
Celebrating Chinese Festivals is an incredibly fun picture book for any parent or educator who wants to expose children to another culture. It’s also written so that children can read it on their own – making it extra special. The book makes learning about Chinese traditions fun as well as informative. I found this wonderful book at Barnes and Noble, but it can also be purchased on the publishers website or at amazon.com.