For centuries, Chinese New Year celebrations have been filled and decorated with many red holiday decorations–one being the red firecracker. How did firecrackers become a popular Chinese New Year decoration? There’s actually a little myth behind it:
According to old Chinese mythology, when spring rolls around and it gets closer to Chinese New Year, a beast (by the name of Nian) comes out of hiding and attacks people in the village, especially the children. After one unfortunate attack, the villagers came together to devise a plan to ward off the beast in the future. They realized that the beast was scared of loud noises and children dressed in red. Since then, Chinese New Year is celebrated with firecrackers and the color red to keep the beast at bay.
Real firecrackers are now banned in many regions of the world due to unexpected fires. It has been replaced by large fireworks displays (which I think are just as fun)!
Today’s blog post will be a fun DIY paper project to teach everyone how to make (non-functioning!) red firecracker decorations for Chinese New Year 2012! This idea is inspired by Kaboose!
- empty toilet paper tubes, or paper towel tubes (cut into 1/2’s or 1/3’s)
- red construction paper (or red patterned paper w/ gold accents)
- glue or tape
- gold markers or paint
- yarn or string
Measure the height (length of the long side) of the toilet paper tubes with a ruler. Use the measurement to mark on the red construction paper of how much to cut (make sure there is enough to wrap around the tube)! With a gold marker or any other type of gold paint, draw designs/patterns onto the red paper. Cut the red paper and adhere to the tube with glue or tape.
Cut strings of yarn and into pieces (the length you would like your firecrackers to hang, remember to stagger the lengths), and tape onto the inside of the tube. Bring all the strings together (stagger until you reach the desired length) and tie a knot at the top. Hang on a hook for decoration!
This fun DIY firecracker decoration project is easy and great for the whole family. Make it a learning experience and teach your children about the traditions and myths that go along with Chinese New Year!
Have you seen firecracker decorations on Chinese New Year? Let us know in the comments below! If you have pictures, please share them. We always need more inspiration to design our DIY firecracker decorations!