Hanging up lanterns is a common decoration you will find during the Chinese New Year.
Traditionally, Chinese people hang lanterns and other decorations a few weeks before the first day of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). The day after New Year ends (15th day) is known as the Lantern Festival, and on this day all of the decorations are taken down because the Chinese New Year is officially finished for the year.
The Chinese believe that a great start and end of Chinese New Year will bless you throughout the entire year, so let’s embrace this wonderful cultural blessing, and learn how to make our own lanterns.
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Rounded Chinese New Year Lanterns
If you remember, I shared a blog post about Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns last year, and I tried to make it as simple as I could. It was one of my most popular blog posts, so I guess everyone enjoyed making these beautiful lanterns with their kids and students.
This year, I would love to share a different kind of Chinese Paper Lantern pattern with instructions: round lanterns. The red-rounded Lantern is a symbol of a successful life and prosperous business, so they are hung during all the important festivals.
Today, these round, red lanterns have become a worldwide symbol of Chinese culture, and you can easily find them in any Chinatown or Chinese restaurant.
If you want to know more about the Lantern Festival, you can go here to learn more about the interesting Chinese history and customs behind this festival & how to make your own sweet rice dumplings with your kids.
Let’s Make the Chinese New Lanterns Together
There are a lot of ways to make a simple paper lantern, and you can find instructions all over the internet.
This type of rounded lantern is a little harder, so I re-created the patterns to make sure even my 3-year-old could do it, and I’m sure even older kids and adults will enjoy making them too.
- For younger children, use the easier pattern and coloring pages, and they will probably need more time (at least 2 classes) to finish the whole lantern.
- For older children, you can let them pick their own patterns and coloring page. They should be able to do it all by themselves as long as you show them the steps.
Materials that You Need
- Print out the lantern pattern (there are three level choices: preschool, kindergarten, and upper level), and an inner page (either colored or black & white).
2. Lantern Pattern: Cut along the outer dotted lines first. Set aside the top strip that has writing on it. Poke a hole at one star and cut along the dotted line to the opposite star, do this for each dotted line.
3. Turn the paper over and fold the striped bar edges in.
4. Inner Page: Using scissors, cut out the inner page. If you chose a black and white page, color the page.
5. Cut frills on the bottom stripe located underneath the striped bar.
6. Put glue or double-sided tape on the top strip (the bar with lines in it). Unfold the lantern pattern and align the striped bars. Align the top and left edges together. Secure into place.
7. Put glue or double-sided tape on the bottom strip (the bar with lines in it). Align the bottom and left edges of the striped bars together. Secure into place. (The Lantern Pattern is larger than the inner page. This allows it to protrude outward.
8. On the right-hand side, there will be a strip of the inner page not covered by the lantern pattern. Place glue on this strip, wrap it around backward and secure.
9. Use the strip that was set aside to make a handle by attaching the ends to opposite sides of one end of the inner tube. You are ready for the Chinese New Year!
Let See How We Did
The trickiest part of making this rounded lantern was poking a hole at the star and cutting along the dotted line to the other star. It seemed difficult at first, and my 3 and 5-year-old refused to do this part.
However, I showed my kids how to use a pencil to gently poke a hole and cut the stripes. Then I held my 5-year-old’s hands and guided her while she cut her first three stripes.
After that, she was willing to finish the whole paper on her own.
For my 3-year-old, I did the same thing, but because she is younger, I decided to hold her paper with her, so she could cut all the strips easily.
In the end, both of them were so proud of themselves because they overcame their fear, and they did a great job cutting all the stripes and not breaking the lanterns.
The rest of the project was quite easy for them, and they were overjoyed when I helped them wrap the papers to form the round lanterns and when we hung them up to display.
I think this is a great family activity to do with kids because of the easy steps and materials.
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Chinese New Year Lanterns Complete Sets
If you want more choices for the inner page, there is a full set of lanterns that has 3 lantern patterns and 7 extra inner pages (colored, and black and white).
The 7 extra inner page images are
- Red packets with Chinese New Year candies
- Chinese New Year banners with a Chinese family
- Lion Dance with two Chinese kids
- A certain zodiac animal with a lantern
- Four the Chinese characters wishing for a prosperous new year (恭喜發財).
If you hang up all four of the lanterns with Chinese Characters together, it will look like the Chinese New Year Banners too!
Which lanterns pattern do you like the most?
How do you decorate your home during the Chinese New Year?
You Might Be Interested
Chinese New Year Blog Post
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This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!