Celebrate the Chinese New Year, TED-Ed style


Welcome to the Year of the Goat! February 19th, 2015 marks the first day of Chinese year 4713. At a loss for how to celebrate this Lunar New Year? Check out this playlist of TED-Ed Lessons to cover all the essentials of this traditional holiday.


In China, fireworks are thought to drive away evil. They are a huge tradition within the Chinese New Year celebration, despite Chinese authorities hoping to curb use in recent years due to pollution. It is also believed that the person who sets off the first firework of the New Year will obtain good luck.

In this TED-Ed Lesson ‘The deadly irony of gunpowder,’ Eric Rosado details the history of gunpowder and its uses in creating the magnificent firework displays that will be erupting all over Asia.


The color red symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture. Red is found everywhere during Chinese New Year but most famously in the red envelopes that carry money given as gifts on this holiday.

In this TED-Ed Lesson ‘How we see color,’ Colm Kelleher details the science that allows our eyes to take in all of the phenomenal red hues of this year’s celebrations.


It’s hard to imagine a Chinese New Year’s celebration without thinking of a giant dragon weaving its way through the crowd. This tradition, called the dragon dance, is performed by many people manipulating poles attached to a long, flexible dragon figure. As dragons are thought to bring luck, the longer the dragon, the luckier the community.

Watch the lesson ‘How to defeat a dragon with math’ to see TED-Ed Animator Mark Phillips’ take on these fantastic mythical beasts.


And obviously, the Chinese Lunar New Year wouldn’t exist without the most essential of its elements: the moon.

In the TED-Ed Lesson ‘The moon illusion,’ Andrew Vanden Heuvel investigates one of the moon’s most puzzling features.

Want extra credit? Check out some of our recently dubbed TED-Ed Lessons in Mandarin! >>


1 Comment

  1. Alex

    Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the celebrations around the world.

    I’m currently teaching in Taiwan and have been covering some of many traditions in this holiday with my class – such as the importance of citrus fruits and why children aren’t allowed to sleep on new years eve.

    I’m sure they will appreciate watching the “irony of gunpowder” video next week! Thanks Emilie!

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