IU Asian Culture Center Presents: How to Make Dumplings!

What is Lunar New Year?

In Western countries, we celebrate the New Year on January 1, but in many Asian countries the traditional new year follows the cycles of the moon so they celebrate what we call "Lunar New Year" (sometimes also called "Chinese New Year") and it usually occurs in late January to early February.

For people following the Lunar calendar, years are tracked by animals. For example, this year is the Year of the Ox. There are 12 animals of the Lunar calendar that always appear in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This means that the next Year of the Ox won’t be until 2033!


How do people celebrate Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in many cultures so people celebrate it in a variety of ways (and over 3–4 days)! People travel back home to be with their families and connect with relatives and friends. They decorate with red lanterns and other red decorations in and around their homes.  Adults give children red envelopes filled with gifts of money. They eat wonderful food like jiaozi (dumplings), oranges, candied fruits, and fish. On the evening of Lunar New Year, families and neighborhoods shoot off festive firework displays!

Are you interested in making some delicious food to celebrate Lunar New Year? Take a look at this video which shows how to make dumplings. You can also download the recipe for the dumplings!


Library Virtual Lunar New Year Celebrations

Join our staff and friends from the IU Asian Culture Center on February 12 at 4:30 PM for a story explaining the legend of the zodiac, a demonstration of how to make a Chinese paper lantern, and information about the different ways Lunar New Year is celebrated. We'll also share recorded performances of members of the TianTian Chinese School Advanced Class singing and performing a traditional dance. Age 3 & up. Please register with a valid, non-school email address to receive the Zoom program link.

Also, beginning February 2, you can pick up a free Take and Make Kit full of Lunar New Year information, coloring pages, and crafts at the Downtown Library, Ellettsville Branch Library, and on the Bookmobile while supplies last!


Do you want to learn even more about Lunar New Year?

Take a look at Hoopla and search for “Chinese New Year". There you will find a variety of ebooks and eaudiobooks all about Lunar New Year! You can also listen to “The Legendary Chinese New Year Hits” (1955) to hear some of the sounds of traditional Chinese music.

If you’re curious about why the animals in the Lunar zodiac follow the order they do, check out The Great Race: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Christopher Corr from our Library!

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