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In the weeks since Chinese New Year, my son has shown a lot of enthusiasm for reliving parts of the holiday. An Amazon box and a sheet became a lion costume. Shredded paper became exploding firecrackers.
Watching my son draw a team of dragon dancers one morning got me thinking that holiday-themed coloring sheets could be a winner. A brief period of computer magic later, his response when I handed him a stack of stenciled printouts — “these are awesome!” — seemed to confirm my instinct.
Since then, he’s been coloring all the essentials like lion dancers and red envelopes, as well as plenty of food, of course — dumplings, mooncakes, and longevity noodles.
Click on the thumbnails below to download a full set of Chinese holiday coloring sheets to share with your family. The sheets complement major festivals like Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, but can be fun art projects anytime during the year.
If you’d like to go a step further, you can even help your child work with a palette of Chinese colors. Using photos from our Pinterest board of Chinese interiors, I’ve matched colors from the Chinese Five Elements to their Crayola counterparts.
Have fun with these illustrations! Besides being a great activity, coloring is a fascinating way to learn what kids have absorbed from the holiday season.
Each sheet includes a stenciled illustration for coloring, plus a short description explaining the importance of what’s pictured.
Dragons are a powerful symbol of imperial China believed to bring good luck to the country’s people. During Chinese New Year, it’s thought that the longer the dragon, the more luck will be brought to the community. Download the Coloring Sheet »
The red envelope custom is all about the reciprocity of giving and receiving. It’s a gesture of goodwill, expressed through the exchange of red envelopes, that builds relationships among family and friends. Download the Coloring Sheet »
The Lantern Festival dates back some 2,000 years when, by imperial decree, temples, homes and palaces across China adopted the practice of hanging brightly-lit lanterns on the night of the first full moon of the year. Download the Coloring Sheet »
Dumplings are thought to resemble the gold ingots used as currency in ancient China. Sitting around the kitchen table making dumplings is a common way to pass the hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Download the Coloring Sheet »
To spot the lion dance, watch for a team of two dancers who mimic the animal’s various movements from inside an ornate lion costume. During Chinese New Year, you may notice the sounds of drums and firecrackers as lion dancers “pluck the greens” to bring good fortune to local shops. Download the Coloring Sheet »
Dragon Boat Racing
The Chinese have raced dragon boats for centuries, as an appeal to the water gods during the sweltering summer months. Dragon boat races harkening back to the villagers who paddled out into the Miluo River in search of Qu Yuan are the centerpiece of a Dragon Boat Festival celebration. Download the Coloring Sheet »
Longevity noodles are a must for any Chinese holiday reunion meal. Eating long, unbroken wheat noodles is thought to bestow the virtues of longevity and strength throughout a person’s life. Download the Coloring Sheet »
You’ll see mooncakes in every Chinatown bakery during the days leading up to the Mid-Autumn Festival. These sweet, rich treats are commonly shared among friends and family with hot tea. Download the Coloring Sheet »
Your turn! What coloring sheets would you add to this holiday collection? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!