How to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with your kids

At least in New York, where, besides the large immigrant Asian population, a significant number of families have adopted Chinese children, the Chinese New Year seems to be becoming almost a universally celebrated holiday. More and more, children are celebrating it in their classrooms, if not at home. But the Lunar New Year is a fun festival that kids and adults can enjoy. There are tons of family activities around NYC, and, if nothing else, it's a great excuse to travel with the kids to Chinatown for dim sum.

Parades, firecracker displays and fireworks, cultural festivals, dragon, lion and unicorn dances are the highlights of the holiday, which lasts for 15 days. For a list of family-friendly events in NYC, click here. Another big part of celebrating the holiday is the special Lunar New Year delicacies which you and your kids can sample at any Chinese restaurant or bakery this time of year.

If you do head to Chinatown, stop by The Museum of Chinese in the Americas for a calligraphy workshop. Children will be shown the basics of calligraphy to create their own “couplet.�? “Couplets�? are a pair of posters with lucky phrases written on them, used to decorate doorways during the Lunar New Year.

If these events aren't your family's cup of green tea, enjoy the holiday with Chinese folk tales and learn more about the Lunar New Year with some of these great Lunar New Year children's books. You can also find lots of craft activities online. The best one I found was this dragon puppet. Make a few and your kids can have their own dragon dance parade.

Most importantly, don't forget to start writing the year 4075 on your checks.