Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!
Well, here we are again. A new year in the Tradition of Chinese Culture. This year we celebrate the year of the Ox. Our family celebrates this event each year in honor of our beautiful Chinese daughter by going to our FCC Chinese New Year celebration. The event consists of a big Chinese food buffet, children's craft tables, mingling with other parents & children & the highlight of the evening is the slide show. One of the coordinators puts on a wonderful slide show of photos of all the children sent in by the parents. Siena had a ball just running around with all the other kids. Her best big girl friend, Gracie was on hand to lead her around. It was too cute. Gracie wants a little sister so bad so she treats Siena just as her own by leading her around with one hand behind Siena's back as if to say, "I'm right here for you."Also this year Siena was finally able to wear her squeaky shoes. We had bought her Squeaky shoes when we were in China. They are little shoes that squeak when you walk in them, that adopting parents usually bring home as a souvenir. So the pair I had gotten way back when, finally fit this year. Siena couldn't resist running & bouncing around in them. You knew where she was at all times. Also in keeping with Chinese New Year tradition, Siena was given her red envelope which contained money, when we got home.
If you're not too familiar with what Chinese New Year is all about, then here is some general information on this wonderful celebration.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4707 begins on Jan. 26, 2009. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits. The New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo.

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