Happy New Year! For those of you who have adopted from China, you probably know that the Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on January 23, 2012, and it is the Year of the Dragon.
This is an opportunity to take part in a holiday of tremendous significance to millions of people around the world.
Here are a few ideas to celebrate the Chinese New Year with your children:
- Clean your house or your child’s room together, in order to sweep away bad luck and make way for good luck in the coming year.
- Prepare a celebratory feast for your New Year’s Eve dinner and enjoy it with friends and family. This is the most significant event of the New Year’s celebration.
- The next morning, give your children a gift consisting of a red envelope with chocolate coins or money inside. Give even dollar amounts, because odd dollar amounts are given at funerals. A popular number to give in the U.S. six or eight dollars.
- Make loud noises to scare away the bad spirits. In China, many families set off firecrackers. A safer or easier alternative might be to bang on drums or fill a jar with beans and shake the beans to rattle away the mythical ghosts. You could also have your child decorate two paper plates, then staple them together with dry beans inside, and shake the plates like tambourines.
- Eat Mandarin oranges, which are the most popular fruit during the Chinese New Year, to symbolize sweetness and good fortune
- Eat uncut noodles, to symbolize longevity.
- Wear red clothes to frighten away the mythical Nien, a beast that was believed to steal food and livestock and attack children. By wearing red and decorating your house with red, you will prevent the Nien from appearing. Red symbolizes joy.
- Hang red paper decorations from your house and windows to welcome in happiness, prosperity and long life.
- For those of you living in or near Chicago, on Sunday, January 29, 2012 is the Chinese New Year Parade for Year of the Dragon 4710 . The Chicago parade begins at 1:00PM but get there early to find a good viewing location. Wentworth Avenue from 24th St. to Cermak Rd. This is A FREE EVENT. The Chinese New Year Parade, Year of the Dragon 4710 will include marching bands, floats, Lion Dance teams, a 100’ Dragon, Miss Chicago Chinatown, and Miss Friendship Ambassador.
We wish all the best to you in the New Year! The Portrait of an Adoption family