Happy Lunar New Year: Year of the Ox Activity from Grace Lin


Let’s Say Lunar

Like us, you may have been referring to this great day in the global calendar as “Chinese New Year.” Here is why it is far past time for us to start calling the holiday “Lunar New Year” or something that more culturally specific.

“Because many communities in Asia and in the Asian diaspora around the world celebrate this significant holiday! By calling it Chinese New Year, multiple groups who celebrate it too are excluded. Already, the Asian community experiences so much erasure and over-generalization. Let’s not perpetuate that. Language matters and impact matters.

…So, when can you call it Chinese New Year? Think: who is your audience? Call it Chinese New Year (though it sounds a little redundant) to those who identify as Chinese. Call it Tết to those who are Vietnamese. And so forth… Or call it Lunar New Year, if you are just not sure!

Being Asian is not a monolith. Do not over-simplify or over-generalize our identity. In the past several weeks, I’ve seen Lunar New Year book posts shared with books with just any Asian character. Not all Asians celebrate Lunar New Year, and not all books with Asian characters or Asian food is a Lunar New Year book. And YES, we need A LOT more cultural representation in books about Lunar New Year.”
—Asian Lit for Kids, Instagram: @asianlitforkids

The Year of the Ox

Author/illustrator Grace Lin is helping schools, libraries, and families celebrate the turning of the year. In her recent newsletter she shared:

“What can we expect from the Year of the Ox? Well, the Ox is persistent, hardworking, strong and dependable. If you are born in the Year of the Ox (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021), you are known to be diligent and determined, and you best achieve your goals in small, but consistent, increments.

So, this is a year where patience and hard work is rewarded. It is also a year that will ask us to be strong and persistent. And if we are able to do so, we can depend on the year to be stable and balanced. I don’t know about you, but stability sure sounds good to me!

And now is the time to welcome in the Year of the Ox and to make sure it is a good one! Clean your home (sweep all the dust and dirt out the back door so that when the new year comes it doesn’t accidentally bring last year’s bad luck back in), decorate and get ready to celebrate!”
—Grace Lin (Subscribe to her newsletter for more like this!)

And here are two activities Grace offered to celebrate!

DOWNLOAD Grace’s Year of Ox template

And don’t forget to explore Grace Lin’s Lunar New Year book, Bringing in the New Year!