Lunar New Year, CNY Traditions, Decorations, Rewards

This year the Lunar New Year will be celebrated in February. There are so many traditions and activities that you can celebrate to share with your online students. Here are some resources to get you started. Here is an overview from Panda Express. They have a helpful website with printable tools too.


I will change to a classroom background that is Chinese Year themed in February this year. I will change the week of 2/1. I will keep my background up for many days and take it down after the Lantern Festival on February 26th. Chinese New Year is on February 12, 2021.

Our students in China will have a long holiday break. This varies from school to school. Here are general dates to keep in mind.

National Holidays will occur from February 11th until February 17th. Often children will have a month off from school. These should begin around the last week of January until the end of February. This would be a good time to open your evening classes during the week because students will be home and taking classes at various times of the day. Expect lots of cancellations and schedule changes.

To learn more about dates of holidays in China, please visit this website.


I have officially celebrated for two years with VERY traditional Chinese New Year Themed backgrounds. I really love the kids faces when the camera opens and they see this special set up. I am a corner classroom standing teacher and love decorating. Here are links to the resources.

Chinese Couplets (large Chinese letters across the top and down the sides). These are traditional greetings and saying of good fortune. These can be used over and over again. They are not specific to the year of the OX.

I purchased my set from Amazon. I am glad that I got a set that is not year of the OX specific so I can use them over and over. Note: This is an affiliate link. Be careful to look at the original packaging for how to hang the Chinese characters. I like this set because it comes with a carrying envelope too! So functional and fun!

Large Meg and Mike (posters and printbles to assemble). These are block posters. You are supposed to print many pages of a PDF and then cut the pages and overlap edges with glue stick to assemble. I LOVE these Meg and Mike printables. You can get them linked here.

Red Hanging Lantern (hanging in both images). I got mine in China town in Los Angeles. You can get a two red lanterns from Amazon. Note: This is an affiliate link.

Small Lanterns hanging on blossom (glitter lanterns, colorful). These are from an ETSY seller, Teacher Angie.

Teaching Tools

I’ve got a tool you can order from my ETSY shop. This available crafted and shipped to you. It is my favorite tool to use during Chinese New Year. Chinese children call these Hong Bao (sounds like hung and bough). These are red envelopes used to give money to children and young unmarried adults. Here are five things I will do with it.

It is fun to pull money out of a red envelope for a reward game.

I will hold it up and ask the student how much money they got.

I will use the small cut out OX to ask the student what Zodiac Symbol they are.

I will reward stars and pull out money for smaller children.

I will pull out money and count how much we got out.

In addition, here are some fun clipart OX resources from other small shops.

Morgan Brown-Quirky Teacher Ox Stars


One of my favorites is from the VIPKID Teacher Portal. I love this reward with dumplings. Feed each character and have fun with dumplings in class. These are a traditional food for the holiday.

In order to access this printable. Click on the portal, click on resources, click on library, scroll down to downloadable resources, and scroll down again to the printable dumpling reward. There are lots of other fun printables here. Be careful to NOT print the older Year of the Rat printables from last year. Those are not gor this year in 2021. It is the year of the OX.

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