Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Year of the Dinosaur!

The Chinese New Year is coming up here in a few weeks. We were talking with kiddo in anticipation of going to buy decorations to put around the house this weekend and trying to explain to her what Chinese New Year really means to China.

According to Wikipedia:

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as 'Spring Festival', the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. 

red envelopes
Some of the festivities include lots and lots of fireworks, family gatherings, lion dances, decorating with China's favorite color, red and a close second the color gold, and giving red envelopes.

I think the red envelope tradition is one of the most interesting.  Elders and married couples give red envelopes to younger unmarried people, often children.  The red envelope most often contains money and it is thought to "keep away bad luck."

chinese new yearThe upcoming year, 2013 is the year of the snake, and we are leaving 2012, the year of the dragon.  Kiddo wanted to know what next year was, and then decided 2014 was going to be the year of the dinosaur. We weren't really sure what the animal was for 2014, so we let her go with it.  I just hope she doesn't tell her Chinese teacher it is the year of the dinosaur. :)

chinese new year
Here are the true animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

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