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Lunar New Year Resource Guide

Lunar New Year Resource Guide

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. It was traditionally a time to honor deities as well as ancestors, and it has also become a time to feast and visit family members. 

The Chinese base their New Year celebration on the lunar calendar instead of the solar one used in the West. Whereas people who follow the solar calendar always celebrate the New Year on Jan. 1, the Lunar New Year will depend on the moon. Generally, it is celebrated in February, yet the exact day will vary from year to year. This year it will be Jan. 22.

The San Diego County Office of Education is focused on creating equitable access with consistently strong outcomes for all students, paying special attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations. This resource guide will provide information and resources to support the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

2023 - The Year of the Water Rabbit

For Chinese people, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope and life for a long time. It is tender and lovely. The Chinese Zodiac Animal Signs are grouped in six pairs according to the balance between Yin and Yang. Each of the six groupings is associated with one of six destiny aspects known as Houses. These Houses influence the overall characteristics of the time period in which the Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign rules. The second House is the House of Expansion, which is associated with the Tiger and Rabbit. The year of the Rabbit is predicted to be a year of hope.

Lunar New Year Festivals

Celebrate the Lunar New Year and learn more about Chinese community members and culture at a Lunar New Year festival near you. Check your local library for youth craft and reading events.

Educational Resources

Curricular Resources

Video Resources

I want to see my culture and my history represented in the curriculum because it's important not only for me to know my history, but others as well.
- San Diego County student

Asian Student Experience Panel

Books Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Culture

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Picture Books

The article, Eight of Our Favorite Asian American Picture Books, has information and recommendations on diverse and authentically representative picture books for Asian American youth.

  • Clever Little Witch, by Muon Thi Van and Hyewon Yum
  • How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion, by Ashima Shiraishi and Yao Xiao
  • Juna’s Jar, by Jane Bahk and Felicia Hoshino
  • Lift, by Minh Le and Dan Santat
  • Our Favorite Day, by Joowon Oh
  • Puddle, by Hyewon Yum
  • Redwoods, by Jason Chin
  • Super Satya Saves the Day, by Raakhee Mirchandani and Tim Palin
high school and adult book covers

High School and Adult Books

The New York Public Library published the article, Major Feelings: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Reading List, on noteworthy adult novels, graphic novels, short stories, memoirs, and nonfiction books that explore the broad canopy of writing by Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (to include people from the Indian subcontinent and diaspora). 

  • Afterland: Poems by Mai Der Vang 
  • All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
  • Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som
  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui
  • Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America by Vivek Bald
  • Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
  • Blame This on the Boogie by Rina Ayuyang
  • Bright Lines: A Novel by Tanwi Nadini Islam (Tanaïs)
  • Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets and Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong
  • Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Tulusan
  • The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimène Suleyman
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
  • Go Home! edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
  • Gutted by Justin Chin
  • Homeland Elegies: A Novel by Ayad Akhtar
  • If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar
  • In Waves by A.J. Dungo
  • Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
  • Insurrecto by Gina Apostol
  • Making Comics by Lynda Barry
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
  • Monstress by Lysley Tenorio
  • New Waves by Kevin Nguyen
  • No-No Boy by John Okada
  • Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America by Shamila Sen
  • Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980 edited by Albert Wendt
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • Quarantine: Stories by Rahul Mehta
  • Soft Science by Franny Choi
  • This Is Paradise by Kristina Kahakauwila
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our
  • Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer 
  • What We Are: A Novel by Peter Nathaniel Malae
  • Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank Wu
  • Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats

At the beginning of quarantine, my parents had to make a choice if they would allow me to go out and run in my own neighborhood because they were afraid for my safety.
- San Diego County student

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More to Explore

Acknowledging Anti-Asian Hate

Additional Reading

Additional Resources

 

Special thanks to the Asian American Education Project for their collaboration on this guide. 


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More to explore

Date Range
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Black History Month graphic

As classrooms and school districts across the nation kick off their 2023 Black History Month celebrations, let us remember the urgency and importance of teaching Black history beyond the month of February. The histories, stories, and voices of Black people should be centered, honored, and uplifted in school curricula every day.

Student talking with a college representative

More than 2,000 high school students from across San Diego County connected with representatives from more than 30 historically Black colleges and universities, as well as UC and Cal State schools, at the Sixth Annual San Diego Black College Expo college fair on Jan. 26.

Snow falling image with emergency alert icon

Because of inclement weather, schools in the Julian Union High, Julian Union Elementary, Spencer Valle, Mountain Empire, and Warner Springs school districts will be closed Monday. All schools in those districts will also have a late start Tuesday.