It’s a week of special celebrations for families from different parts of the world. Take note of the special days we are about to celebrate!

Monday the 8th is Chinese New Year Day
Chinese people celebrate the New Year. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey in their calendar. They believe what they do on the first day of the lunar year affects their luck in that year.

Families reunite and do a lot of preparations for Chinese New Year. Some either visit their relatives or friends, or wait for their relatives’ or friends’ visits. These visits bring kids many opportunities to enjoy trips with their parents and have fun with other kids.

During New Year families love to go shopping, decorating their houses, and preparing special foods that include New Year cake, glutinous rice dumplings, biscuits, and desserts.

As the clock strikes 12:00, cities and towns are filled with a spectacle of colorful and sparkling lights and the bang of fireworks bursting in the air.

For kids this celebration is lots of fun because it comes with the long winter vacation that lasts about a month. Kids enjoy being with their parents and receiving many lucky red envelopes with money from family and friends. They get to wear their new clothes and participate in the decoration of their houses with red lanterns and red scrolls on their windows and doors.

Chinese wish each other good luck and happiness in the New Year by saying “gongxi” (恭喜 /gong-sshee/, which means ‘greetings’ or ‘best wishes’.

Tuesday the 9th is Mardi Gras or Carnival Day

Mardi Gras or Carnival is an annual festival celebrated mostly in American and European communities with colorful parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls.
It is said that the colors of Mardi Gras are:
Purple for Justice
Green for Faith
Gold for Power

Wednesday the 10th is Teddy Bear’s Day.

Here is a beautiful Picture Book about Teddy Bear that you can read to children in Spanish or English.

Thursday the 11th is Make a New Friend Day.

Go around and make a new friend just like BEARY (OSI) in this colorful and sweet tender Picture Book.

Saturday the 12th is Hug Day.

Smile and give little or big hugs to everyone. Remember that a HUG makes everything better than a 1000 words…

One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you love and they hug you back even tighter.

Saturday the 13th is Kiss Day.

Here is a beautiful poem in English and and some verses in Spanish from author Carmen Gil.

HUGS AND KISSES
Our hugs and kisses we should share,
To show others that we care.
Hugs and kisses
Hugs and kisses I’d like to send,
To my dear and great friends.
With hopes and prayers that you have
A wonderful and great day!

BESOS
Hay besos de caramelo,
dulces como una sonrisa.
Y están los besos con prisa,
que hay que cogerlos al vuelo.

Los besos de mariposa
rozándote las mejillas
¡pueden hacerte cosquillas!
y son de color de rosa.

El beso con achuchón,
tan calentito y tan tierno
como una manta en invierno,
¡es un beso de algodón!

Sunday the 14th is Valentine’s Day.

For Valentine’s Day you can teach kids these popular poems I learned when I was little.

Los zapatitos me aprietan,
Las medias me dan calor,
El beso que me dio mi madre,
Lo llevo en el corazón.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so are you!

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