Adele has been a youth services librarian for 25 years and a mother to a daughter from China for 20 years.
The Lantern Festival in China
2021 is designated as the Year of the Ox. The Chinese New Year celebration begins on Friday, February 12, and culminates two weeks later with the Lantern Festival. This coincides with the first full moon of the new year according to the Chinese calendar.
During the Lantern Festival, people in many cities, towns, and villages come together to light and admire a variety of colored lanterns, appreciate the beautiful full moon, set off fireworks, and watch lion and dragon dances.
Lantern Crafts for Kids
This article contains two templates you can use to make your own lanterns. These patterns are decorated to look like oxen because the year 2021 is named for the ox, a sturdy farm animal that is familiar to most Chinese people.
I also have articles with templates for easy coloring pages, greeting cards, bookmarks, lucky red envelopes, and a variety of other easy and inexpensive children’s crafts. To find them, search the internet for “Adele Jeunette” and “Year of the Ox.”
Year of the Ox Lantern #1
This template has two pages you can print. One of them is a pattern for making the lantern itself. If you haven’t made a cut-paper Chinese lantern before, you can find a good tutorial at How to Make Unique Chinese Lanterns.
Cut out the handle and attach it to the top of the lantern. Once you have made the lantern base, you can cut out the facial features and attach them to the lantern.
This pattern also has a circular charm you can attach so that it hangs from the bottom of the lantern. That charm has the Chinese character for “ox” written on it. Cut out the two circles and place them back to back. Take a length of string about 4 inches long and glue it between the two circles, using enough glue to attach the circles to each other as well. Then, attach the other end of the string to the bottom of the lantern.
Here is the Template for the Year-of-the-Ox Lantern #1.
Year of the Ox Lantern #2
For this lantern, you need to start with a small paper lantern you can purchase. The one shown here is a 10-inch round white lantern.
To assemble this lantern, take the metal piece that comes with it and insert it through the top of the lantern. The metal piece has two protuberances that will fit into two holes in the plastic ring at the bottom of the lantern. Once you have those in place, stretch the lantern until you can fit the top of the metal piece under the rim of the plastic rim at the top of the lantern. I usually find I have to bend the metal piece a bit to fit it under the rim.
Once you have the lantern assembled, you can cut out the facial pieces and attach them to the lantern as shown. I used tape, but you may be able to use glue as well. I find that the glue sticks don’t work that well because the surface is rather slick. Perhaps the liquid Elmer’s would work better. You will need to fold the ends of the ears and the horns so that you will have a surface to glue onto the lantern.
Here is the template for Year-of-the-Ox-Lantern #2
Additional Facts About the Year of the Ox
The Year of the Ox occurs every 12 years. Here are some examples of Years of the Ox in the 20th and 21st centuries:
Be aware that the start of each year is calculated by a lunar calendar that does not start on January first. For instance, a baby who is born in 2021 will have been born during the Year of the Rat if they are born before February 12, but they have been born during the of the Ox if they are born on February 12 or after because that is when the Chinese New Year begins in 2021
Some recommended occupations for oxen include teacher, doctor, technician, office clerk, and lawyer. Oxen are considered to be most compatible with rats, snakes, and roosters. They may often clash with goats, horses, and dogs. The only animal that precedes the ox in the zodiac is the rat. The ox is followed by the tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig—in that order.
Famous People Born in the Year of the Ox
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Barack Obama
- Walt Disney
- Wayne Gretsky
- Rosa Parks
© 2020 Adele Jeunette