Chinese New Year, also known as "Spring Festival", is the most important of traditional Chinese holidays. The holiday is widely celebrated in China itself, and through East Asia. Additionally, increasingly Chinese New Year is increasingly marked in the West, both within the Chinese community, and by people interested in Chinese culture and traditions.
The traditional Chinese calendar is lunisolar (incorporating both elements of lunar and solar cycles to calculate dates), consequentially the date of Chinese New Year varies from year to year when translated into the Western Gregorian calendar. Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar, and continues until the 15th of that month, which is known as the "Lantern festival". In the Gregorian calendar, that equates to a 15 day period beginning sometime between January 21st and February 20th.
There are a variety of traditions associated with Chinese New Year. These include the wearing of new clothes, displaying decorations (especially red decorations), the giving of red envelopes (containing money) by elders to children and juniors, and visits to relatives and friends ("new-year visits"). Additionally, many overseas Chinese travel home to have reunion dinners with their families on Chinese New Year's Eve.
With so many gatherings and families and friends, Chinese New Year is also an opportunity for performing group activities. Moreover, with the increasing prominence of Chinese New Year in the West, the occasion is also an excellent opportunity for teachers to introduce their students to Chinese culture through classroom activities. Whether with friends, family, or in the classroom, one such activity that is worth considering is Chinese New Year bingo.
Bingo is a fun game, that actually everyone knows how to play. However, if somebody does not know how to play, there's no reason to worry – anyone can learn the game in just a few minutes. Of course, if you're playing bingo at Chinese New Year, it's more fun if you can get into the spirit of things by using bingo cards printed with items related to Chinese New Year, rather than using traditional numbered bingo cards. The easiest way to get such special bingo cards is to print them using your computer – you can download some bingo card maker software and print as many as you want. The coolest thing is that once you have the software, you can use it each year, or to print specifically themed bingo cards for other events, occasions and holidays.