Introduce your students to the many diverse New Year celebrations throughout the world. Listed below you'll find lessons, activities, printables, and other resources to help you teach your class about American traditions and the customs of countries such as China, Korea, and Vietnam. These activities will encourage your students to find out more about other cultures.

Printables
With our New Year's resources, students will learn the history of New Year's Eve and Day, as well as different New Year's celebrations and traditions around the world.
References
Use our references to expand students' learning about the New Year with fun activities such as saying "Happy New Year" in different languages, traditions of the New Year, and more.
Chinese New Year Resources
Our Chinese New Year Resources offer you worksheets, activities, quizzes, videos with activities, creative resources such as learning how to make a Chinese musical instrument, and more.
December Holidays Teacher Resources
Numerous activities are included in our December Holidays Teacher Resources such as lesson plans, printables, skill builders, literature units, vocabulary lists, quizzes, games, and much more.

Browse New Year's Resources

Saying "Happy New Year!" Around the World

Ways to say "Happy New Year" in such languages as Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), French, Hebrew, Korean, Swedish, Vietnamese, and more.

A History of the New Year

A move from March to January

by Borgna Brunner

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

The Chinese Calendar

The Chinese lunar year is divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The calendar is adjusted to the length of the solar year by the addition of extra months at regular intervals. The years are arranged in major cycles of 60 years. Each successive year is named after one of 12 animals. These 12-year cycles are continuously repeated. The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls between January 21 and February 19 on the Gregorian calendar. The year 2007 translates to the Chinese year 4704–4705.