Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year decorations for sale in Gui Yang, China. 2008

Chinese New Year decorations for sale in Gui Yang, China. 2008

Our family begins our holiday celebrations in October with Diwali, fall and Halloween and then it’s non-stop through February.  This year, Chinese New Year is January 26.  It is the year of the Ox.  Here is an overview of my craft plans for the month.  I’ll update with photos, links and random thoughts as we go.

First, I’m trying to learn how to tie Chinese Knots.  I thought the easy ones would be a breeze, but they are proving to be a bit more of a challenge.  I just found another tutorial (bless the people who make video tutorials for the rest of us mortals) so I’ll keep working at it and hopefully have success to report soon.

chinaguangzhou-027Red is a very auspicious color in China.  We have strings of red silk chilies that we bought in China to decorate with.  We also found red chili lights that we’ll string from the ceiling.

My to-do list for Chinese New Year activities include everyone practicing their calligraphy.  The Sage’s New Year banner may be limited to me painting glue in the characters’ shapes while he sprinkles glitter on.  Or maybe he can add gold paint to a red paper that I’ve added the characters to.   The King and I can practice the proper character or trace the character and paint it in if we get to frustrated.  Linoleum cuts could work well, too.

We’ll make very simple Chinese Lanterns  and read Paper Lanterns.  We’ll have hopes of making more complicated lanterns, but won’t get it done (aren’t I the optimist!)

We’ll make finger puppet dragons  and have dowel rods they will fit on as well as fingers so they can be displayed and the kids can run around the house with them pretending like they are lion dancers.  We’ll read The Lion Dancer and watch clips of the video The Prof took of Lion Dancers in Guangzhou, China last year.

Lion Dancers in a shop in Guangzhou, China.  2008

Lion Dancers in a shop in Guangzhou, China. 2008

We’ll eat lots of Chinese food and wish we could watch the fireworks in China because they were the most amazing we have ever seen.  We’ll think of the many wonderful things China has given us and be thankful.

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