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Six Stories for Lunar New Year

Celebrate Lunar & Chinese New Year with Caseyville Library!

What is Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year?

Both Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year are celebrated all over the world, but Chinese New Year is primarily celebrated by people living in China and people outside of China, including the United States, with Chinese heritage. Lunar New Year is celebrated by many other countries and may go by different names including Spring Festival. A few countries that celebrate Lunar New Year are Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Singapore, but many people all over the world celebrate the holidays!

What do the holidays celebrate? And how do people celebrate?

Both holidays celebrate welcoming the new year in and celebrate on the first full moon of the new lunar year. Many traditions help people prepare for the new year and bring their families health, luck, and good fortune. Both holidays are typically celebrated with family, and family can often travel great distances to be together. Families in China may celebrate by eating dumplings, sticky rice, longevity noodles, whole fish or chicken, and sweets. There are many other traditional foods that vary depending on what region of China a family is from. Lunar New Year foods can be very diverse because people celebrating can be from myriad countries, but some traditions can include parades, festivals, bright red decorations, fireworks, and dances. The color red also symbolizes prosperity and happiness so you will see it show up frequently in the stories below.

We hope you enjoy these Chinese & Lunar New Year stories! Click the title to see the books in our library catalogue.

Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee and illustrated by Joey Chou

This year, Ruby's grandmother must stay home for Chinese New Year so Ruby decides to make the journey to see her and celebrate with her. Along her way, she meets all the Zodiac animals, and they join her on her journey. This is the story Collections Librarian, Jackie will be reading for storytime on February 12th at noon. The story also includes the legend of the Chinese Zodiac as well as the Zodiac animal traits. We hope you'll join us and check out these other wonderful stories below!

"Bringing in the New Year" is a great introduction to Lunar New Year. It's a board book, and the sentences are short and easy to understand, which makes it a wonderful book for young toddlers to learn about the holiday. It follows a family as they prepare for Lunar New Year, showing the important traditions that help them celebrate. This book's illustrations are bold and colorful, but also full of snowy and cozy scenes just in time for the season!

The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang and Illustrated by Alina Chau

Xingling learns about the Nian Monster, an ancient beast with pointed teeth and an incredible hunger. The Nian wakes on Lunar New Year to come devour entire villages. This New Year, Nian comes to Xingling's village, but Xingling is a clever child, and must outsmart Nian. Along the way, readers learn about the meaning behind the foods, decorations, and traditions of Lunar New Year. What will Xingling do to save her village? Come check out this story in the library!

The Chinese New Year Dragon Nian by Virginia Loh-Hagan and Illustrated by Timothy Banks

Young Mei was born in the Year of the Golden Dragon, which is why she has been destined to save her village from the terror of Nian. This tale depicts the Lunar New Year's traditions' somber origins, but also the joy and celebration of the holiday. Mei shows bravery, perseverance, and resilience when faced with Nian's wrath. This action-packed tale may be more suitable for children five and up.

PoPo's Lucky Chinese New Year by Virginia Loh-Hagan and illustrated by Renné Benoit.

This story follows a little girl as her family prepares for Chinese New Year. This year, her PoPo, or grandmother, is coming all the way from China to celebrate with them. PoPo teaches the children how to prepare for the new year by inviting luck and fortune into their lives. The preparation takes time, but the family does it together, and when it is time for the parade, it is worth the wait. This story does a great job of explaining domestic traditions that help celebrate Chinese New Year, and would be a wonderful introduction to the holiday for younger children.

How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

This year, our young storyteller’s mom would like a dragon for Lunar New Year. He overhears her say a dragon will bring good health and fortune, so he sets out with his friends to catch one for her. Catching a dragon, however, is not an easy task, and the children try many different plans and traps. If our young storyteller can catch this dragon, he would make his family proud, but can he outsmart the New Year’s dragon? Read this story together to find out!

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