Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Directory of Lesson Plans TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers

TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Math and Science Learning
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
Our Mission
   Press Releases
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award


Gung Hay Fat Choy - The Chinese New Year

About this Daily Classroom Special
Gung Hay Fat Choy—The Chinese New Year was written by Lisa Kwock,  former program assistant at Teachers Network.

Gung Hay Fat Choy

The Year of the Sheep

Chinese New Year is celebrated February 1, 2003.


Chinese New Year's is an important time of year for Chinese people all around the world. Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year is the most colorful, elaborate, and joyous celebration. More than any other Chinese festival, the New Year stresses the importance of family.

Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first moon of the lunar calendar. The first day can be on any day between January 21st and February 19th. This year—the Year of the Sheep—Chinese New Years officially commences on February 1, 2003. The celebration lasts anywhere from one day to two weeks and takes place all throughout China and the United States—especially in large cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Honolulu.

Usually, preparations for the New Year celebration begin one month before the actual New Year festivities start. From cleaning house to dressing in new clothes to eating special foods, traditions and customs are imminent throughout the celebration for Chinese people. Families spend a great amount of time making sure their houses are swept and clean of evil spirits or thoughts. Red paper decorates many homes, restaurants, and Chinatowns as it wards off any evil spirits. Symbolic fruit such as oranges and tangerines and other foods are also found on display. The pronunciation in Chinese of these foods is homonymic with other Chinese words meaning prosperity, happiness, or longevity. All foods must be prepared prior to New Years Day to avoid having any sharp cooking or cutting utensils cut the "luck" of the New Year.

During the other days of the celebration, young people receive from older relatives red envelopes (Lai See) with enclosed "good luck" money. Lion dances, kung fu demonstrations, firecrackers and Chinese drums and gongs are popular viewing and audio spectacles in parades and smaller performance in the streets of Chinatowns. They also fend off evil spirits, particularly for shopkeepers of small stores. All in all, much effort is contributed to creating a positive and happy environment to bring in the New Year.

More than anything else, though, spending time with the family—immediate and remote—is prominent within all Chinese communities around the world during the New Year. The historical influence of Chinese throughout Asia is reflected by other Asian communities that celebrate the holiday in similar fashion to the Chinese.

Happy New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy!


Sites you may want your students to visit are listed below. Be sure to check for appropriateness for your students' age.


Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.


Journey Back to the Great Before