Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

Eric and I are so excited about our trip to China to get our little boy. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him, pray for him, wonder what he is doing, what he looks like and all those things that are a great mystery to us but not to our Heavenly Father who has orchestrated this whole process. The kids continue to embrace this journey we are on. They daily ask questions and pray for him. It is fun to see them process and ask questions. Eric and I are excited to bring various Chinese customs and traditions into our home. We hope in time we can share some of these with family and friends as well.

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday to the people of China. It is a 15 day celebration of a lot of food, parades, fireworks and special gifts. This year the Chinese New Year started on February 14. The date of the Chinese New Year changes every since it is based on the lunar year. The Chinese calender follows a 12-year pattern and each year it is named after an animal. This year it is the Year of the Tiger.

Since the kids didn't have school today we spent a good chunk of the day reading books, making crafts and preparing for our first Chinese New Year Celebration.

The girls had fun coloring a variety of different printables that I found.

We also made some red envelops which I will explain later in the post.

The kids had fun making a dragon puppet. The Chinese dragon comes out and dances and weaves through the streets during the parade. The dragon brings wisdom, wealth and happiness.

The kids then were busy making Chinese lanterns to decorate the table. Alexa wanted to draw Chinese symbols on her lantern so we found some to print off.

Shane got busy drawing a picture of his brother on his lantern.

Emma added some Chinese number symbols to her lantern.

The kids were very excited how they turned out. The quickly ran upstairs to put them on the table.

We got the tea pot and the tea cups out for dinner. Shane could hardly wait for Eric to get home to have some tea. He took one sip and decided it wasn't what he expected.

Oranges and tangerines are a big part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Since oranges are China's most plentiful fruit, food prepared with oranges symbolizes wealth and good fortune. So oranges were part of our dinner.
We also had Chinese Orange Chicken, Shrimp and Orange skewers, carrots and rice. We were going to have Chinese long noodles which represent longevity in life but I couldn't find the recipe I had found earlier in the day for them.

The kids had so much fun trying to figure out how to use chop sticks. Alexa kept giggling!

Eric was giving us all lessons.

Emma trying to figure it out with a big smile!

Shane thought if he had his mouth wide open it just might help him. The kids were a riot to watch but I have to admit I was the first one to put the chop sticks down and use my fork.

After dinner the kids were excited to open their fortune cookies and read them.

We finished the evening with the kids opening their red envelopes. The kids are all given red envelopes, or hong baos. They are filled with "lucky money" for a rich New Year.

Inside were some yummy chocolate coins.

We had a fun day learning about the Chinese culture, reading books, making crafts, eating yummy food but most of all laughing and enjoying our dinner as a family. We talked about how we hope next Chinese New Year we will have one more sweet little boy at our table celebrating with us! It will make our celebration so much sweeter!

Gung hay fat choy
Happy Chinese New Year


Kathy said...

How neat, Julie! What a great way to prepare the kids for their new sibling! Looks like you guys had a great time. I too, hope to see another little boy at your table next year.
My prayers will go with you!

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