On Saturday we attended a special Chinese new year celebration for members of lour local FFC, Families With Children From China. It was a fun evening of good food, music, dancing, dragons and sweet kids of all sizes.
There were crafts and more crafts...
Grace and Miss K with a friend from their school.
Miss K won one of the giveaways!
The dragon makes his entrance!
Our Grace and Miss K joined the Dragon celebration...
Chinese New Year is a holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new year according to the lunar calendar. It is considered to be one of the most important holidays for Chinese families. The holiday is celebrated with big family gatherings, gift giving, the eating of foods rich in symbolism
and display of festive decorations--all focused on bringing good luck for the new year and celebrating the coming of Spring. When Is Chinese New Year?The start of Chinese New Year changes every year since it is dictated by the lunar calendar. The Gregorian or solar calendar--which is based on the Earth's movement around the sun and has a fixed number of 365 days a year (366 during a leap year) is the most widely used calendar system in the world and has been the official calendar used in China since 1912. But in China the lunar calendar is still used to determine traditional holidays like Chinese New Year. Since the lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon-- which has a shorter cycle than the sun--Chinese New Year is never on the same day each year, but typically falls somewhere between January 21st and February 20th. For 2008, Chinese New Year falls on February 7th. In 2009 it falls on January 26th. How Long Do Chinese New Year Celebrations Last?According to Daria Ng, Assistant Curator of Education at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York City, celebrations can actually last up to a month, especially in China. Originally the celebrations lasted for lengthy amounts of time because China was a very agriculture-based country so farmers took the whole month off to rest since crops couldn't be planted during the winter. Nowadays most families celebrate the New Year for about two week's time, says Ng, starting on the first day of the new year and end on the 15th.
2009 is the year of the Ox! Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddah 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. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly. 恭喜發財 Happy New Year!