According to Chinese legend, a monster named Nian (which means year) used to attack a village and eat people at the beginning of the year. Every year, the villagers fled to avoid being eaten, until they learned the beast could be frightened away by loud noises, bright lights and red lanterns. Today, Chinese New Year is celebrated with firecrackers, fireworks and red lanterns.

You can make your own Chinese Lantern with this simple craft.

Chinese Lantern Making


  • Clear or white plastic jar (throughly cleaned)
  • Red tissue paper
  • Large paint brush for glue
  • Small paint brush for gold paint
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Gold paint


  1. Mix 1 part glue to 2 parts water. For this lantern I used 50mL glue and 100mL water.
    Rip the tissue paper into long strips about 1 inch wide. This jar used one sheet of tissue paper.
  2. Submerge a strip of tissue paper in the glue mixture. Hold the jar sideways and attach one end of the strip to the jar. Smooth the strip with the paintbrush while rotating the jar so the tissue paper strip wraps around the jar. Don’t worry if the tissue paper wrinkles or folds – this adds to the effect.
  3. Repeat step 3 with the rest of the tissue paper strips until the jar is completely covered. If you want to cover the bottom of the jar, rip up a strip into squares and paint them on the bottom. Leave the rim of the jar clear.
  4. Dry the jar upside down. (This may need to dry overnight.)
  5. Once the jar is completely dry, use the gold paint to decorate and paint the rim. Let dry.
    to USE
  6. To light your lantern you can put a battery-powered candle inside. Do not use a real candle.

For a printable PDF of these instructions, plus the rest of our Chinese Calendar resource, check out the link below:


Chinese Calendar

The Chinese lunisolar calendar has been used for over 4000 years. In Ancient China, farmers used the calendar so they would know when to plant their fields and harvest their crops. This resource includes reading pages about the lunisolar calendar, origins of the Chinese calendar, the Chinese Zodiac, the legend of the Great Race, the introduction of the Gregorian calendar and Chinese New Year as well as a vocabulary guide. Included are differentiated worksheets, a Chinese lantern craft and Zodiac Stickers that can be used for Health & Well-being.

Pages: 16 (including 4 answer sheets)


  • 3 Information Handouts
  • Vocabulary Page
  • Chinese Zodiac Reference
  • Vocabulary Worksheet
  • Chinese Lantern Craft Project
  • True or False Worksheet
  • Multiple Choice Worksheet
  • Comprehension Questions Worksheet
  • Zodiac Stickers
  • Answer Sheets
  • Terms of Use

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