The Chinese or Lunar New Year is one of the most important annual celebrations in Asian countries and communities. It was first recognized in 2600 BC, when Emperor Huang Ti introduced the Chinese zodiac. Whereas the calendar that begins with January and ends with December is solar -- based on the Earth’s rotation around the sun -- the Chinese calendar is lunar, based on the rotation of the moon around the Earth. Thus the Chinese or Lunar New Year falls on a different day each year, sometime between late January and mid February. It begins on the first new moon of the year and lasts until the full moon 15 days later. (A new moon is not visible from the earth.)
Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, is a good picture book to read for the Chinese New Year. At school, the children listen to a story about dragons, and then make a dragon in art class. The colorful illustrations of the children dragon dancing are beautiful.