Monday, January 12, 2009

chinese new year

We are well into the first month of the year. Preparations are under way for the Chinese new year. the year of the ox. Remy is very excited as he was born in the year of the ox. Red lanterns are being hung and red envelopes selling out in the store. We will have a week off of school. The 26th is the official first day of new year. There are three days off but many are given a whole week. Some spring festival pictures and new year explanations follow.

This is a time when families get together to celebrate. It is also a special time to remember members of their family who have died. On new year's eve they eat dumplings and the person with the coin in their dumpling is said to have good fortune for the year. This reminds me of the baby in the king cake ( from my mardi gras days ). food is also prepared for those who have passed on.

The days leading up to the festival are used to decorate, and get their hair cut, and clean their homes top to bottom - to sweep away any bad luck from the old year. It is bad luck though to do this on new years day. On new years eve all the lights in the home are kept on until midnight; then there are fireworks to scare away evil spirits. On new years day children receive red envelopes with money or candy. It is a good time to forget old arguments. People greet each other by saying 'Kung Hei Fat Choy!', which means Happy New Year!

Parrish and I found these apples at the store. They all had different sayings on them.