Paper Lanterns for Chinese New Year Celebration

Elaine Liang, Betty Tran liked this post

  Paper-Lanterns for Lunar New Year celebration

To help us celebrate Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year, we made some fun paper lanterns. But before I show you how to make this craft, here’s a brief history of why lanterns were part of the celebration. There are many different versions and here is one from my friend Eva:

On the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration, paper lanterns were used. There were no street lights or electricity, and thus, lanterns were used as the only light source. Likewise, back in the days, all the young women were not allowed to go outside in the evenings to socialize except for this last day. Lots of love stories came from this holiday.   Young girls using their lanterns gathered  at the night market in hopes of meeting their prince charming.  Since then, lanterns were a part of the Chinese New Year celebration.



Colored construction paper


Glue or tape

Pipe cleaners or chenille stem

hole puncher



Fold the construction paper in half the long way or the “hot dog way” and starting at the fold line, make a series of cuts about ½ inch to 3/4 inch apart. Be sure to stop at about 1/2 inch from the edge. In other words, you don’t want individual strips.



When the cutting is done, open up your paper and now put your lantern together  by gluing or taping the ends of your paper together the short way or the “hamburger way”


Here’s a lantern with the ends taped together.


Now you can spice up your lanterns with colorful streamers and a handle. I punched two holes on the top of the lantern and added a pipe cleaner for the handle. I hope you and your kids will enjoy this simple craft!

To get a brief history of Chinese New Year, click Chinese New Year 2013: Year of the Snake.

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  1. I’m here from the Graceful blog link up. While we didn’t homeschool, I always appreciated resources like this.
    Great work you’re doing.
    Peace and good.

  2. We will be making these lanterns in our After School Program on Monday to go along with the Year of the Snake activities for the week. Thank you!