Published : 02/02/2009 13:16:07
Categories : Seasonal Parties
Want to feel just a little bit older than you are now? How about celebrating New Year's again, in the year 4707? How about celebrating Chinese New Year?
I have never been to China. I have eaten Chinese food, and visited Chinatown in San Francisco and London. I do have friends that work from China, and they were my starting point for understanding what a Chinese New Year party should entail.
The first thing that I learned was that Chinese months are calculated on a lunar calendar, so the start of the new year moves around. The traditional festivities start on the first day of the month, when the moon is darkest. The celebration lasts until the fifteenth, when the moon is at its brightest. I already know that my party will not last that long. I love my extended family, but I do not want them all in my house for two weeks!
The colour for Chinese New Year is red. Red symbolizes fire, which is used to drive away bad luck. I had red paper plates and party supplies for the house but I would need to buy some red envelopes. Money is placed in these envelopes and given to children as "lucky money". This year is the Year of the Ox, so sticking with a red theme is going to be a lot easier than sticking with an Ox theme.
We are planning on ordering food. My wife is an excellent cook, but neither one of us are accomplished at preparing Chinese meals. We are also planning on having some activities for the kids. We'll make paper lanterns to light at the middle of the month, and we'll also make red paper dragons. I am looking forward to seeing what my kids come up with for their dragon dance. Now all we need to figure out for this party are the fireworks!