Celebrate the Lunar New Year: Book Ideas for Holidays Around the World

The holidays are a wonderful time to explore the traditions of other cultures. Students will love hearing about the many varied traditions and their meanings throughout the world, and will also be delighted to learn that some traditions are not so different from their own!

The Lunar New Year is a unique and exciting holiday that you will definitely want to include if you teach Holidays Around the World!

Check out the list below for my five favorite books about the Lunar New Year!

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1. Sam and the Lucky Monkey

Sam has been given four red envelopes, each with $1 inside, as his traditional gift for the Lunar New Year. How will he ever decide what to spend it on?  A stranger that he meets while out shopping helps him discover the perfect way to spend his money.


2. A New Year’s Reunion 

Little Maomao’s father has to spend much of the year away from home, working, but he always comes home to celebrate the New Year! At first, she feels shy and nervous seeing her father after such so much time apart, but before long the two are enjoying their brief time together.


3. Ruby’s Chinese New Year

This year, Ruby’s grandmother is not able to travel to the family’s New Year celebration, so Ruby decides to go to her instead. Along the way, she encounters each of the twelve zodiac animals who help her along on her journey.

4. The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

This is a retelling of the traditional Chinese folk tale about the origin of the Chinese Zodiac. The Jade emperor creates the Great Race after realizing that he doesn’t know his age, as a way to start measuring time. The story of each of the zodiac animals is told, accompanied by bright, colorful illustrations. This book is a great introduction (or refresher) about the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.


5. This Next New Year

This is a delightful story about a little boy preparing for the Lunar New Year. As he cleans the house to make room for good luck, he thinks about the traditions of his own family (including a big helping of the Korean New Year soup, duk gook), and also the traditions of his diverse group of friends. This story is a wonderful reminder that the Lunar New Year is meaningful to many people, and celebrated in many different ways. 


If you’re looking for a complete Holidays Around the World Unit that includes The Lunar New Year, look no further!

Holidays Around the World for Upper Elementary

This print and digital unit makes lesson planning a breeze. 

This unit includes: 

  • 21 Tradition Passages & Comprehension Questions
  • Country Maps with Map Skills Questions
  • World Map and Flag Pages
  • Scrapbook Pages to Record Important Cultural Facts
  • Graphic Organizers
  • World Map
  • Easy to Assign Digital Activities
  • Print Versions for In Classroom Teaching


 Here’s What People Are Saying: 

  • “Lots of good information!! I love how everything is included and there is no extra work for me. I am excited to use this for my social studies classes during the month of December – this will keep them learning and on task all month!!” – Kristen
  • “I am using this with in-class and my Zoomers. It is a great resource for geography and the kids are enjoying learning about other countries and their holiday traditions. Thank you for your hard work!” – Jen
  • “Love this! New holiday activity to use every year! Everything is there and you can easily use it for reading, writing, and social studies activities to give more time to going deeper into how countries celebrate Christmas and winter holidays. Even I was learning new things!” – Chelsea
Need a fun and FREE art project to go with your Lunar New Year study? This FREE set of 5 art project lesson plans for the Lunar New Year, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali, and Christmas has everything you need to plan a successful art projects.
Holidays Around the World Art Projects Freebie from The Teacher Next Door

Want to add even more diverse holiday books to your classroom?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
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