Chinese New year, arguably the most important of Chinese festivals. For Chinese around the world, this is one festival that needs no introduction. Many non-Chinese, too, are familiar with Chinese New Year
Here’s a round-up of various free Cantonese resources that I have found, so that you can seize the opportunity to to provide more immersion into Cantonese language and culture during this festive time.
Fill your home with Chinese New Year Cantonese music with this YouTube playlist. Have your children sing and dance to these tunes. Playlist by Michigan Cantonese Storytime.
For a more extensive list of Cantonese Chinese New Year songs (not just for kids) , please checkout this playlist.
2. Stories and Book Readings
The playlist includes a series of over 20 Lunar New Year books read in Cantonese. Below is my favorite Chinese New Year book read by Cantonese Mommy, because it is specific to Hong Kong.
Learning more about Chinese New Year YouTube Playlist
Watch these Chinese New Year themed stories, cartoons and animations in preparation for Chinese New Year.
The above video from Sticky Love Family even has Cantonese subtitles, and transcripts (which I like to copy to a word document for further study).
Free Ebook from easyRead Chinese
About 12 Zodiac animals. Follow the link to the website to download.
Meizhou Chinese Resources- Stories
Of the many Meizhou stories, I found two Chinese New Year Stories (with audio recordings):
- Story of the Year Monster『年』的故事 － PDF , PowerPoint , Audio Story Telling (口語)， Audio Story Narration (書面語),
- Twelve Zodiac Animals 十二生肖 － PDF ， PowerPoint， Audio Story Telling (口語)， Audio Story Narration (書面語)
These stories are from Level 2 of Meizhou textbooks. Please note the PDFs are in black and white, the PowerPoint files are in colour. (Pix on left from Powerpoint file).
If you have an advanced reader, you can also check out these stories/ passages by Huayu World from Taiwan. The passages are in Traditional Chinese. You can read on screen, or download the PDFs.
The Story of Nian 年獸的故事 – a short reading by Hing Hing Sone Sone. Download and video available.
十二生肖 12 Zodiac animals Ebook by Joy Chinese School
This beautiful 46-page booklet can be found for free download on Teachers Pay Teachers and includes Nian the Monster (年獸來了) story and coloring book, New Years Paper Cutting (剪春迎新春) craft activity, 春, 年, 紅 writing practice sheets and flashcards, Kid friendly recipe for Po Po’s Nian Gao (婆婆的年糕) . You will need to sign up for a Teachers Pay Teachers membership (for free) as a member to download this.
These readers are from a series of elementary readers written in Traditional Chinese and English for the Cantonese Chinese in America in the 1970s. The series was designed to familiarize children with the traditional major Chinese festivals celebrated by the Cantonese Chinese in America. There are two books with Chinese New Year themes:
- The Story of the Red Envelopes -describes in narrative form the meaning of the red envelopes given with money gifts at Chinese New Year and other festivities
- Preparing for Chinese New Year -follows the activities of a Chinese-American family in its preparations for the Chinese New Year. (CLK)
Looks cute to be used as a colouring book for younger children. The Chinese is handwritten.
Watch some of these videos to learn more Chinese New Year vocabulary.
Check out this blogpost Chinese New Year Cantonese Vocabulary, Greetings and Banners 揮春 for lots more resources and free printables including
- a five-page Vocabulary list in Colloquial Cantonese
- a three page list of Chinese New Year Greetings in Cantonese
- Chinese banners 揮春 in various formats .
- Christian versions of Chinese New Year Banners 基督春聯 (If you are interested in Christian resources, please follow our new Facebook page (Chinese Christian resources) for updates.
as well as flashcards, posters and lots more by other creators of Cantonese resources.
An infographic on how to celebrate Chinese New Year!
And about 年廿八，洗邋遢
About some taboos
4. Worksheets, games and other resources
Fortune Cookie Mom
- Free Printables: CNY mini booklet, CNY Vocabulary booklet, CNY theme packs (which has flashcards, and various activities), lesson plan, CNY flower market pretend play (requires registration for password) – these resources are in Standard Chinese, but some come with Jyutping.
18-page activity booklet. Download link in Facebook post below. Includes character writing, paper cutting, DIY red envelope, and craft. Some are tiger specific, and all are very cute. 2021 version can be accessed here. 2021 version also has a Bingo game
Le Le Chinese New Year Advent Calendar by Le Le Culture Co Ltd
Sign up for their email to receive the download link.
Michigan Cantonese Storytime
- Chinese New Year Bingo Game (Please PM Michigan Cantonese Storytime for PDF file)
(New content and resources are added to the Michigan Cantonese Storytime Facebook page every few days, so do follow them for new updates.)
Chinese New Year Activity Booklet 遊戲冊 , Banners揮春, and Worksheets 工作紙 by Beannie Bear 小熊豆豆一家
The video in the post below shows what is available, and the link for download is within the post.
The former is good for word recognition, and the latter is a great way to learn about the auspicious CNY food 過年好意頭食品. I particularly like the explanation about how food is related to auspicious sayings e.g. 年糕- 步步高升, 蘋果- 平平安安.
Download link within the post.
Download link to be sent via DM after you follow the instructions within the post. (Update 2022 – not sure if this is still working, as I did not receive a DM).
This is a very old resource book (1975) designed to be used by teachers in Chinese bilingual bicultural programs. The materials in the book are based on Chinese New Year customs still observed in Chinese-American communities. The resource book contains five types of materials:
- a general introduction to the Chinese New Year, including the Chinese Lunar Year and the Cycle of the Twelve Animals,
- Chinese New Year stories, written in both Cantonese and English
- Chinese New Year songs, in both Cantonese and English
- recipes for the Chinese New Year
- art projects
I found the songs (Include a simple music score) most useful.
4. Zodiac-themed resources and printables
with accompanying video
Hong Kong Food Friends Chinese Zodiac flashcards & Bingo sheets
十二生肖撲克牌 Zodiac Animals Playing Cards by Joy中文學校 Joy Chinese School
十二生肖生字本 Zodiac Animals Writing Worksheets by Joy中文學校 Joy Chinese School
十二生肖頁角書籤 Zodiac Animals Corner Bookmarks
(Update: use this link to access the printables, as the one via the Facebook post does not seem to work. )
On this same website (where all her resources can be downloaded), there is also a 十二生肖嘉年華 song – MP3 file and lyrics.
A compilation of Cantonese videos here, most are about using red packets to create Chinese New year Items. (Maybe because using the search term 利是 is a sure way to find Cantonese videos. ).
Template for download can be found in the link above
Paper Cutting by 好好私塾
Link to templates for cutting are within the post. Includes both Tiger themed and generic CNY themed cuttings. Limited time offer.
CNY Flower pot by Little Bean Cantonese
Little Bean Cantonese has done it again, with a unique, simple to make, and soo cute design. Brighten your home with this!
Red Packet Fish by DIY 賀年掛飾
Hing Hing Sine Sone Cantonese school share lots of Chinese new year crafts with free downloadable templates. Videos in Cantonese can also be found on the same webpage.
春節祈願樹 Wishing Tree by Joy Chinese
Easy Peasy Craft Ideas by 媽咪老師聯絡簿
Other Chinese New Year craft available in Traditional Chinese ( not Cantonese specific):
- Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! by Chalk Academy
- Chinese New Year Kids Activity: Mystery Box by Spot of Sunshine
- Chinese New Year Crafts – Banners and Lanterns by Fortune Cookie Mom (require registration)
- CNY Suncatcher Lantern by Sweet Note Learning
- Chinese New Year Coloring Pages by Ms Panda Chinese
Fortune Cookie Mom has also compiled the most comprehensive list regarding Chinese New Year resources, and I just had to include them here, even though they are not in Cantonese. (Mostly in English)
- 100+ Chinese New Year Activities for Kids to Gain Cultural Experiences by Fortune Cookie Mom
There are lots more Chinese New year craft on the internet – just do a search on google or pinterest. I only listed those which have a link to Cantonese or Traditional Chinese.
7. Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Learn about Hong Kong customs and celebrations with this YouTube playlist or watch this video below to hear a summary of various customs.
Check out some articles about how Chinese New Year is celebrated in Hong Kong. Customs vary, and there are alot of specific traditions, so what you might read in generic articles and books may not apply. And of course, this year will be a bit different and quieter, with social distancing restrictions, for the third consecutive Chinese New Year.
- How To Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
- 7 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year
- Your ultimate guide to celebrating Chinese New Year 2022
- 【 香港】過一個不一樣的農曆新年@ 阿金環遊香港30天
- Things To Do In Hong Kong For Chinese New Year／在香港如何歡度農曆新年
- Chinese New Year Traditions and Customs in Hong Kong
- Guide to Chinese New Year traditions
- Chinese New Year In Hong Kong: Welcome The Year Of The Tiger
- 農曆新年這樣度過！四個本地人的節慶活動／ How Locals celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
- 喜氣洋洋迎新年：「新正頭」習俗宜忌全攻略/The 15 days of Chinese New Year — prepare for fortune and joy
I just want to add that in Hong Kong, there is specific Chinese New Year and Reunion dinner food. It is not common in Hong Kong and some parts of Asia to eat dumplings during this time. I found some articles, that touch on Chinese New Year Food specific to Hong Kong, though it is not a comprehensive list.
Other Chinese New Year resources :
- Year of the Tiger Cantonese Resources 虎年粵語教材
- Lantern Festival Cantonese Teaching Activities and Resources 元宵節粵語教材
- Chinese New Year Cantonese Vocabulary, Greetings and Banners 揮春
- Christian Chinese New Year Banners 基督春聯
- God of Wealth is Arriving Cantonese Song Lyrics 財神到粵語歌詞
- A Complicated Chinese New Year Character
- You might also enjoy reading about :
- Why it is hard for many ABCs to pass on Cantonese?
- Cantonese Music for Kids including lyric printables
- Cantonese Cartoons on YouTube