The Chinese new year is based on both the lunar and solar movement. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days a month. However, in order to be compatible with solar movement, Chinese calendar has one additional month every several years. It is similar to adding one extra day in leap year in solar calendar. This is why Chinese spring festival do not fall in the solar calendar, usually about one month later.

The Chinese calendar divides the years in groups of 12 and each year is names after an animal. It is believed that people born in a certain share same traits. The 12 animals are RAT, OX, TIGER, RABBIT, DRAGON, SNAKE, HORSE, SHEEP, MONKEY, ROOSTER, DOG and PIG. This year is the year of RAT!

To celebrate the Spring Festival, I collected some crafts for the kids to taste a bit of the festival atmosphere.

Plum Blossoms Paper Lanterns Red Envelopes
Clay Pot Rat Chinese New Year Dragon China Red and Yellow Bracelet
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