(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - February 10, 2021) February 12 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and, as part of its ongoing outreach program, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River is marking the occasion with Chinese-themed paper craft projects for children to take home and build themselves.
Staff members at the museum have created paper kits for Chinese lanterns and special envelopes called “red packets,” both which are adorned with Chinese characters and images of an ox, as 2021 is the Year of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac.
Paper lanterns have been a tradition in China for 2,000 years, particularly during festivals. One traditional story is that of a girl who warned the emperor that an evil monster was about to destroy the city. To confuse the monster, the people made many paper lanterns to make it appear that the city was already on fire. Today paper lanterns of many shapes are commonly used as part of the celebration of Chinese New Year.
Red packets are another tradition of the Chinese New Year. The packets contained money or candy and were meant as gifts for children to help bring good luck; red being a lucky color in Chinese culture.
There is no charge for the kits. The museum is located at 3 Flaming Gorge Way in Green River; winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and admission is free. For any questions about the kits, call (307) 872-6435 or email the museum at