Whether you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year or not, it’s fun to teach your kids about this festive holiday. Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year also falls closely with the Valentine’s Day Holiday this year. Chinese Lunar New Year begins on February 10 and Valentine’s Day is on February 14. So you have plenty of time to prepare something while teaching your children all the joy and fun with these luminating holidays.
The Chinese Lunar New Year begins on February 10, 2013 and the celebration and preparation begins weeks before. In Chinese tradition, the house must be cleaned and swept and rid of all negative energies. Red decorations such as lucky symbols, lanterns, and the Red Envelope are used during this time of year to signify prosperity, good fortune, and auspicious influence. The Chinese Lunar New Year is also a time for giving as well as receiving so we’ll touch base on the auspicious things we can give people during the celebration.
Valentine’s Day is usually noted as a holiday of love, friendship, and honor. Although not many people celebrate Valentine’s Day, I think it’s a fun holiday to teach your kids so that when they are old enough, they’ll have just as much fun with their friends. We’ll also highlight some kid-friendly and environmentally friendly gift ideas to give. And what’s unique about these two holidays is that they both use the color red to symbolize something great. But you don’t have to stick with red for decorations or gift ideas. Any variation of red – pink, fuschia, magenta, hot pink, lavender, etc. will do the trick.
– Make homemade sweets such as cookies, cupcakes, candies and place them in reusable boxes. Decorate them with festive red and pink colors.
– Make homemade granola. Mix together organic and natural ingredients including oats, honey, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, dried fruits, or anything you think your recipient might like.
– Make homemade dough for “play-doh”. Use flour and water mixture to create dough-like consistency. Add natural food coloring from beets, berries, and vegetables leftover from your cooking. Create figures using the homemade dough. Allow to dry thoroughly and give as gifts. To make it Valentine’s or Chinese Lunar New Year themed, make hearts, animals, lanterns, dragons, etc.
– Make homemade soaps or try this new soap from Noodles & Boo. These adorable heart-shaped soaps are made from natural ingredients and are delightful to use on children and adults alike.
– Give organic and fair trade chocolates made by Green & Black’s, Chocolove, Newman’s Own Organics. Give natural gummy sweetheart candies made by Surf Sweets.
– Make a gift basket of love. Fill it with organic and fair trade products like soap, chocolates, candies, candles, etc.
– Make paper lanterns or kites. Use them during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration to bring in good luck and ward off evil.
– Make homemade cards. Using leftover copy paper or construction paper, create cards for both holidays and decorate as you please.
There are many wonderful ideas and traditions during these two holidays. Put your creativity to use and you’ll find many things in your house that you may already have to use for these projects and gifts. Teach your kids about Valentine’s Day and Chinese Lunar New Year and they’ll add more knowledge to their already expanding mind.