This week many of our friends and family will be celebrating the Chinese New Year and welcoming the year of the rabbit. For those of us not of Chinese heritage, it's a great opportunity for the whole family to experience the rich cultural diversity of our communities. In many major cities across North America you can find parades, performances and feasts for young and old alike. If you are neighbours of Coco & Tini, you can check out the annual parade in Vancouver's historic Chinatown. The colourful parade, which includes lion dancers, martial arts and the VPD motorcycle drill team will wind it's way through 1.2km of Chinatown. Check out your community listings for full coverage of the fun-filled activities!

Here's a simple and festive craft to do at home with your little ones:

Chinese Paper Lanterns

You will need:
  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue, tape or stapler

  • Fold a rectangular piece of coloured paper long side to long side so that you get a skinnier rectangle.
  • Make a series of cuts along the fold line making sure not to cut all the way to the edge
  • Unfold the paper
  • Glue, tape or staple the short edges of the paper together
  • Cut a strip of paper about 2 cm wide and about 15cm long to make a handle
  • Glue, tape or staple the strip of paper across one end of the lantern to make a handle.
  • Voila! You can make several lanterns and string them up around your house or to tape between doorways!

Happy New Year!