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Happy Lunar New Year!

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Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, Seollal, Tết, or the Spring Festival, is a holiday celebrated in many east Asian countries, as well as in the United States. According to the lunar calendar, a year is the amount of time it takes the moon to go around the Earth 12 times. The Lantern Festival is the last day of celebrations.  

lunar new year decorations

Lanterns are a way to make wishes for good luck, happiness, and fortune in the coming year. You can also write a riddle on your lantern to see who will guess the right answer.  


  • 1 sheet of red paper 
  • 1 sheet of yellow paper 
  • 1 strip of red paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue, tape, or stapler 


  1. Take your red paper and fold it in half along the long side. 
  1. Cut from the fold to about one-half inch from the edge of the paper.  
cutting slits in paper
  1. Keep cutting along the fold to make strips. Remember to LEAVE ½ INCH AT THE EDGE OF THE PAPER. This way, your paper will still be attached on the top and bottom. 
  1. Open up the paper and bring the ends together to make a circle with the top and bottom. The middle will fold out into a lantern shape. You can glue, staple, or tape the edges. Double sided tape is easiest if using tape. 
folding paper into lantern
  1. Use the strip of paper to make the handle. Attach the handle with tape, glue, or staples.  
  1. If you would like, you can put a liner inside your lantern. Form the yellow paper into a tube, and then tape the red lantern over the top of it. It looks a little like there is a light glowing inside. 
  1. Since you want the outside part to bow out a little, you’ll tape the bottom a little higher on the tube. You can cut off the bottom of the tube if you want your lantern to sit on a surface. Or, you can cut it into fringes. 
final paper lantern

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To learn more about Lunar New Year, check out one of these books from the library: Celebrate the Lunar and Chinese New Year

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