Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chinese New Year Party

It's been awhile since we have had a party. What better reason to celebrate than Chinese New Year. 
This works even better for us, because Chinese New Year begins on the first New Moon of the Year and lasts for a week. We got to choose what day worked best for all our schedules. 
Chinese Dragon Crafts ~ Year of the Dragon
Syndi is amazing at prep work. She planned the crafts and pre-cut all the materials! One of my biggest pitfalls in homeschooling is the failure to prep prior to needing the materials.

We began by reading about how the Chinese Celebrate. We figured out that we had a Dog, Rat, Pig, Dragon, Monkey, Sheep, Chicken and Tiger in our mix! Talk about a variety of personalities. We did read them what the beliefs were but were sure to discuss the fact that we didn't believe in horoscopes. 
The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Calendar. It is a type of huge birthday celebration as well, because custom has it that you don't turn a year older until the New Year    Celebration. So even if your birthday is in May you don't officially turn a year older until the New Year  Festivities~ That would give me an extra 6 months!

The Chinese also decorate windows and doors with red lanterns for wealth, good fortune, happiness and longevity. I still have the lanterns strung in the dining room because they make me happy! 

It is Chinese tradition to cleanse the entire house to sweep away ill fortune and make room for good luck. I am so thankful that I have hope in Jesus Christ and don't have to depend on luck. 
Although I felt quite lucky to be treated to Chinese Food. 
 One of the best parts of our Chinese New Year Celebration involved eating Chinese Food! Shockingly, my children did not like sweet and sour! Jess and I are shameless, we put our favorites to the back and served the children more of the foods we don't care for as much.
 My mother in law always says, "With rank comes privilege." I'm just going to go with that! 

I must admit that Justice has me totally wrapped around his finger. Look at those cheeks and the concentration.

I love that all our celebrations involve such a huge variety of ages. I made Red and Gold play dough for the children and Liberty so incredibly excited to play with it, she could hardly wait. I also appreciate the fact that the older children are able and willing to help the youngers and more importantly help clean up after them. 
Justice, Jess and Ian
Syndi brought a variety of pictures to color, some ribbon dragons for each family, the lanterns, and researched several games for the children to play. 

Paisley and Abigail are the only ones  missing from this photo! 

Jake playing a number game. 

A game involving picking up beans with chopsticks. You would have been amazed at the level of competition involved on this one! 
In the morning, children greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
Much to their disappointment, we opted not to give our children money in red envelopes. 

Isobel and Ruby 

Liberty and Justice

We had fun eating and reading fortune cookies. I think we can easily say that we are blessed, have prosperity, happiness, health and joy in our lives. It is always fun to turn a learning opportunity into a party with friends.

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