Creative Child

Help Your Child Value Diversity and Celebrate the New Year through a Different Culture

by Deborah Song

Celebrating different customs is a great way to enhance understanding and tolerance in kids. The United Nations has gone as far as to deem cultural understanding essential to world peace and stability.


A fun and diverse custom occurs right around New Years, with many countries celebrating the advent of another year with traditions that speak to kids. Here are some ways children ring in the new year around the world.



Chinese New Year is the most timely because it is right around the corner. The year of the Rat actually begins on January 25th this year. Red is the main celebratory color, and décor includes hanging red lanterns in streets and doorways, intricate red paper cutouts of animals and plants reminiscent of snowflakes, and blooming flowers. The reunion dinner, which occurs on the eve of Chinese New Year, is considered the most important meal of the year and is meant to be a special time with family. One of the most anticipated customs for kids is the exchanging of gifts that occurs during the New Year. The most common New Year gifts are red envelopes that contain money, which are given to children and retirees.


Mothers make a special bread for their family, kneading luck and good wishes into the dough before it is baked.


Families hang little homemade straw or wooden dolls outside their homes for good luck.


Colombians carry empty suitcases around the block in hopes of a travel-filled year.

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