Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals dating back since time immemorial in the lives of the Chinese people. The fifteen day long festival has a healthy division of days with a lot of activities, and days where it has been found advisable to stay at home.
The New Year celebration is predominantly a family centric celebration where everyone gathers together from various places to enjoy the festivities together. Thus, it is imperative that there is activity charted out for every member of the family. Every family and household will have some kids, so it is important that they too are involved and engaged meaningfully during this course of time. So in order to keep the children meaningfully occupied so that they do not feel left out, let us have a couple of art and craft ideas that can be used during this New Year period.
- Upside down Fu – this is easily the most popular art and craft item that can be made and are made, during the New Year. Fu in Chinese means happiness, luck and prosperity. Turned upside down, this same Fu means coming or arriving. Thus making a craft out of turning the Fu upside down would mean that happiness, luck and prosperity will be coming immediately or arriving shortly in our future. This is traditionally written on a red background in a diamond shaped paper. This Fu is generally pasted in the front door or on the walls of the living room.
- Dui Lian – Dui Lin is known as the antithetical couplets. It is normally a hand written poetry, written in red paper, as it is auspicious, and it is a pair of lines of poetry. The two lines are completely synchronised in their length and should have some correspondence of the meaning or tome. The ideal dui lian should have few lines but deeper meaning. That is the reason why, alike classical Chinese, they use one character per word.
- Lantern craft – the fifteenth and the final day of the New Year is all about lanterns. That day is the lantern festival. Traditionally people hang lanterns all around the house and children also carry lanterns to the temples. Thus making lantern is a very good crafty idea during the New Year. The usual lanterns are the ones made of red colour outer paper shell. Ions, lanterns have candles kept inside for light. Different types of lantern can be made for art and craft, such as decorating a paper lantern, creating mini Chinese lantern chain which looks spectacular or creating paper cup lanterns.
- Door God – being deeply religious and steeped in superstitions, the Chinese people put an extreme emphasis on welcoming luck, prosperity etc and driving away the evil spirits or warding them off. The Door Gods are Chinese art decorations placed on both sides of a door of an entry to a temple, home or business. The Chinese people firmly believe that it keeps away the evil from entering the premises.
- Paper cutting – Paper cutting is an art form which involves cutting red paper. The most popular subjects for this beautiful art form is flowers, human being, animals and so on and so forth. The character of “Xi”, meaning happiness is perhaps the most popular paper cutting subject. During the Chinese New Year these paper cuttings can be posted on windows and some are even placed on the front door or the walls.
- Year Paint – Year paint is a very big canvas in which a painting is done by hand. Generally the size of a year Paint is 3 feet by 3 feet. This takes the pride of place in the living room and is hung at the most prominent point of the room where it will be the object of attention. Being a large canvas, the subjects can be varied such as – Gods, long living Gods, Tigers, Mountains, Children etc.
For the very young children, who would not want to feel left out and would want to take part in these kinds of art and craft activities; there can be the very interesting and varied forms of Dragon crafts that can be looked into. Let us quickly browse through a couple of Dragon art and craft ideas for the little cherubs during the New Year. The Dragon craft will be interesting keeping in mind the spectacular Dragon dance and the impact of these mythical characters in the children’s mind.
- Chinese Dragon Puppet can be created by using bright orange, pink and red craft foam to make the scales and by using some golden ribbon.
- A cute Cup and Ball Chinese dragon can come into being by using paper cup and polystyrene ball and some other craft stuff along with bright colors.
- The Dragon bookmark can be an excellent personalized gift made by the younger ones during this period, with a paper plate and a long piece of red cloth along with some golden ribbon. Other items which will be needed will be glue, buttons and other small decorative items.
- The Handprint Dragon is as colorful and spectacular as it gets when it comes to New Year crafts. Five handprints along with certain paper cut shapes, and then intertwined, make a glorious and colourful dragon, which can be a fantastic craft and gift idea for the New Year.
- The Wooden Spoon Chinese Dragon Puppet requires some adult supervision, but once made, it is going to remain a favorite amongst many. The magnificent Wooden Spoon Chinese dragon puppet would require two red wooden spoons and the dragon to be made out of ribbons and papers, strung on and then the visual result will be superb.
Thus we can see that during the 15 day long New Year celebrations, there is no reason for the children to be left out if their activities are centered on interesting art and craft ideas.
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