Chinese New Year - The Year of the Snake
There is a legend that says that when Buddha was nearing the end of his life, twelve animals came to see him. To thank them, Buddha attributed one year to each animal, in the order in which they had come. This explains how the Chinese calendar became based on a 12-year cycle, in which the years correspond to the animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig.
Did you know?
In our Western calendar, Chinese New Year never falls on the same day because it is based on a lunar cycle. Most lunar years consist of 12 moons, but once every 12 years the lunar year has 13 months. Chinese New Year falls on the New Moon between January 21 and February 20. In 2013, the Year of the Snake starts on February 10.
Let's make a snake
What you'll need:
- cardboard tubes (from rolls of paper towels, toilet paper or wrapping paper)
- acrylic paint of different colours
- paint brush
- marine sponge
- small sharp scissors
- brass fastener
- red construction paper
- googly eyes 15 mm (⅝ in) diameter
- white glue
Flatten tube and draw an oval on the flattened tube. (You can use a wider tube for the head of the snake if you want).
Cut the sections of the snake with scissors. Only cut the rounded ends, the sides of the tubes remain intact.
Use a longer tube for the tail. On one side, draw a rounded edge like other sections of the snake and on the other side, draw a wavy point that represents the snake's tail.
Cut the tail of the snake with large scissors. Keep part of the sides of the tube intact.
Glue the two layers of the tip of the tail together with white glue. Hold in place with clothespins while the glue dries.
Paint the different sections from the head to the tail in colours of your choice.
To add texture, use one or more colours that you dab with a marine sponge. For a nicer finish, add a coat of acrylic varnish.
Paint the inside of the tube that forms the head in red to create the mouth.
To build your snake, start with the section that represents the head on and one body section. Partially tuck the body section inside the rear of the head.
With small sharp scissors, make a hole through the 4 layers of cardboard.
Then insert a brass fastener through the 4 layers of cardboard.
Spread the legs of the fastener on the side that will become the bottom of the snake.
Repeat for the other sections until the tail. Always put the new piece inside the previous one, so that the same side of each section is always on top.
On the red construction paper, trace and cut the snake's tongue. Then glue the tongue in the mouth with the glue gun or white glue.
Either paint the eyes on top of the head or use googly eyes.