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Chinese New Year - The Year of the Snake

Updated on October 5, 2013

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)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • 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.

Source

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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      This is an adorable craft idea... and Chinese new year is right around the corner. I will enjoy trying this with my son, Thank you! voting up and awesome.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you very much! The neat thing with this craft, your son can decide of the length of the snake that he wants! I did one a week ago with the grandson of a friend and he wanted his snake to be longer than my snake! It was cute! An other good thing... your son can choose the color he wants:-)

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Wonderful. I have several neighborhood kids who often come to me for craft ideas. I think this will have them 'glued'. Thanks once again..and yes the snake does not at all look vile, rather it looks rather cute and loving...:)

      ++

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you very much for your visit and kind comments!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing this, kids crafts!! I'm Chinese and will be celebrating soon. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and very nice craft for kids to do on a rainy day. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you for your visit Michelle! And I wish a nice celebration for the Chines New Year :-)

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you very much for your visit kashmir! It can be good for a rainy day.... or a really cold day like we have right now in Canada!

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 4 years ago from A Country called Earth

      This craft is really creative and prefect for this sunday! I always like to celebrate Chinese New Year but I did not know it was based on lunar cycle... Great hub voted up and interesting!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you for your visit and your jubd comment! Enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations :-)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      It's the Chinese New Year tomorrow, coming in to share this again!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you Michelle! I wish you a great day with your family with this big celebration! We have some celebration here in Ottawa as well :-) But there is a lot of snow since the storm of the last two days so it will be not as easy for people to go around!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      I am really scared of snakes but your snake is cute.

      Thanks for the idea. :-)

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Guess what.... I am scared of snake too! But this one doesn't bite ;-)

      Thanks for visiting!

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      That's funny! Michael Strahan on "live" is afraid of snakes as well. I like how you did this project with the brass fastener. I might have to try this way some time. Before, I have always taken the cardboard tubes and started cutting at the end and just circle cutted it around and around. So, in that way the snake curls around the child's arm. Then, we glued the googly eyes on after that. Great hub!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I like your idea as well! It imitates the natural movement of some snakes to curl around an arm or a leg! Thank you for your visit and your comment MarieAlana. Have a great weekend!

      PS : I think I am afraid of snakes because we had some where I used to live in Africa as a young child.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 4 years ago

      Oh Faith,

      I just had to stop by and tell you how Clever I think you are. I Enjoyed reading about the Chinese New Year and the facts behind it. Making the Snake, reminded me of when my younger Son, was a boy and how he loved to bring home Snakes...And this Mommy learned NOT to be afraid!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you very much for your kind comments! I learned a lot myself about the Chinese New Year when I did my research :-)

      I must say that I am a little jumpy near snakes myselfs! We don't have many in Ottawa so my two sons didn't bring any to me..... lucky me ;-)

      Thank you for visiting my hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You really know how to come up with such simple ideas, good thoughts for keeping busy and looks good too.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you DDE. There are many kinds of snakes with different colours so kids can try to represent an existing type of snake or just use their imagination. They can also make this snake as long as they want :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I am scared to death of snakes so I was reluctant to look at this craft. I found it to be absolutely adorable. Up and awesome.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you KoffeKlatch Gals! I must say that I am not so crazy about snakes either but this one doesn't bite ;-) The fun thing with this project, you can create your own colours! Thanks for the visit and the vote :-)

    • Gcrhoads64 profile image

      Gable Rhoads 4 years ago from North Dakota

      I used to make these as a child and I had forgotten all about them. I can't wait to try making one with my son!

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I hope that he will like it! I had the chance to make one with the grandson of my neighbour and he just loved it! Your son can make his snake as long as he wants; that's what's make this project quite unique!

      Thanks for your visit!

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 3 years ago from On planet Earth

      That was so cool the thumb tacks looks like a splendid idea the snake will be able to flex his body lol. Make one for me nah lmbo

      Thanks for sharing another one of your many art talents with us.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you for your visit, LadyFiddler! The snake can turn horizontally... and in a certain way, it's the way they move as well in nature! Kids love this one because they can go as long as they want!

    • Pro-Hubber profile image

      Pro-Hubber 3 years ago from Florida

      Another cool hub from you. Interesting.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Thank you Pro-Hubber! I have to come with a new idea because it will be the Year of the Horse pretty soon!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      What a fun idea! I took my children to an Autism Awareness night of fun at a local aquarium. The gift shop had stuffed snakes for sale. My daughter begged me for the $20 plush, but I didn't have any extra money on me that time. So for Christmas, I found a stuffed snake and wrapped it around the Christmas tree! LOL But, this is a cool idea. The kids would love doing this art project.

    • kidscrafts profile image
      Author

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      If your daughter likes snakes she can make one as long as her patience :-)

      Happy New Year!

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