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Ask Granny has put together some ideas for all the family to have fun and celebrate Chinese New Year 2011. Teach the family a little bit about Chinese customs and traditions.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar is 2,640 years older than ours and never begins  on the same date each year. It can begin any time between January 21st and February 18th, depending on the date of the New Moon in Aquarius. Each year is named for an animal and every 12 years this cycle starts again. The Chinese say that the animal ruling the year you were born will influence your life. Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays,  it lasts 15 days and is a huge celebration of present giving, fireworks, eating and feasting! It begins on the first day of a new moon and ends with a full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. This year (2011) it starts on February 3rd.

1) Animal signs for each year.  Check here  to find out your  animal sign

Year Chinese New Year Begins Animal Sign
2007 February 18 Pig
2008 February 7 Rat
2009 January 26 Ox
2010 February 14 Tiger
2011 February 3 Rabbit
2012 January 23 Dragon
2013 February 10 Snake
2014 January 31 Horse
2015 February 19 Sheep
2016 February 8 Monkey
2017 January 28 Rooster
2018 February 16 Dog
2019 February 5 Pig

2) Have fun playing some of these typical Chinese Games, Mahjongg, the Fortune Cookie, Chinese New Year Word Search, Maze Games, Puzzles, to name but a few.

3) Ideas for  Making Chinese Crafts, Dragons, Rabbits, Paper Lanterns, Fortune Cookies and many more!

4) Try out some of these Chinese New Year Recipes

5) Why not give  a Chinese New Year Party. Here are some ideas of how to decorate, prepare, buy, make or bake!

Have fun and DO send me some more ideas and comments to add to the list!