Chinese New Year (epicfireworks/Flickr)
Happy Chinese New Year of the Monkey
Do you (and your students) know what the following individuals have in common: Leonardo da Vinci, Yao Ming, Miley Cyrus, Will Smith, President Harry Truman? They are all “Monkeys"—born in a year of the Monkey. Do you know any other “Monkeys" in your life?
Under the lunar calendar, February 8 marks the start of the year of the Monkey. It is a great opportunity for all of us to learn about Chinese customs and beliefs through fun and interactive activities.
We suggest introducing common characteristics associated with monkey in Chinese tradition, such as witty (机灵; jīling), curious (好奇; hàoqí), energetic (有活力; yǒu huólì), and many more. Students may enjoy calculating which years in the past and the future are years of the Monkey—(hint, hint) time to practice numbers, years and months!
It may also generate a lot of excitement for students to discover other “Monkeys” who are their celebrities and idols—do they share any simian characteristics? If possible, have them take a picture with that “Monkey" and post on social media with the phrase "I found a “Monkey" plus a list of traits of the said “Monkey.” Make sure to post in both Chinese and English and use both hashtags #yearofthemonkey and #猴年!
We hope to see lots of "Monkeys" surface online!
Read our article online to learn more about the characteristics of Monkeys and the years they were born!