Chinese New Year and Grace

I’m not gonna lie, this Chinese New Year has been a little intimidating. It’s the most celebrated holiday in China, so I don’t know, I felt like I had to go overboard by celebrating it. Thank you Jesus for grace. Not only was my wonton soup a disaster, but I didn’t even add the chicken in my chicken fried rice! I spent an hour folding wontons only for the pork dumplings to fall out in the boiling soup. It was still very good though. We ate on paper plates y’all. PAPER. PLATES. I said I would never be that mom who eats on paper. Never say never future moms because we eat on them often. Sweet P loved  everything and that’s all that mattered to me…

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So I’ve learned a lot during this Chinese New Year, especially the fact that there is always next year to try again. 🙂 We did learn these things as well:

Meaning: Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday in China, with festivities taking place sometime in late January or early February, based on the Lunar calendar. New Year celebrations begin on the first new moon of the new year, and end with the first full moon. It’s 15 days and many businesses and schools close down. When the Chinese celebrate, they do it big! I wish we did that here!

Out with the old: Serious spring cleaning happens and it must be done before New Year’s Eve, not New Year’s Day to avoid the risk of sweeping away the new year’s luck.

Color: Red is the color of choice for decor and clothing. Red is a sign of good luck because of it’s symbolic association with fire, the sun, brightness life energy (the yang of yin and yang).

Celebrations: Firecrackers are very popular as they are believed to promote a change in energy, deliver new beginnings, and provide  protection from harm.

The Chinese Zodiac: Each month of the Lunar calendar is represented by an animal. People are said to be associated with the animal that represents their birth month and year. Traditionally, different personality attributes are also associated with each animal. The Zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2016 is the year of the Monkey!

**Edited to add** I get a lot of questions from people asking how we handle these things with our Christian faith. Honestly, I’m still not sure what we’ll do. I know that I don’t want Sweet P to grow up, start asking us questions about her heritage, and we have no idea what to say. I always want to be knowledgeable about her heritage because it’s who she is. We will always read her stories about her culture. As far as folklore that they believe in (dragons, zodiac animals, etc…) it will be no different than any other Frozen character or Santa…make believe.  

A few things we did accomplish were decorations: 

Couplets (red banners with words or art) hang over our doors and represent good wishes and well-being for the family.

Orange sounds like the Chinese word for wealth and the gold color symbolizes “gold” meaning to bring in good luck or wealth. So we put oranges out on our dining room table.

I saw another blog start a Fu tree, and I loved the idea. A traditional little Christmas tree decorated with Chinese ornaments during Chinese New Year. So we left our small tree out and left our Chinese ornaments on it.

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  • February 19, 2016 - 2:45 pm

    Marta - Thank you for this. The holiday is so foreign to me and I wonder if we will even celebrate it. Being a Christian family, we may drop many of the symbolic things and just have Chinese food. And yes! Maybe even on paper plates. Because yes! There is grace. I’m polish, yet being naturalized here in America I don’t follow many of the customs of Poland. And I think that is okay. So. Grace is where I will stand. Thank you for sharing. Wonton soup sounds as difficult as polish Pierogi! So I just purchase them ready made! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • February 19, 2016 - 4:01 pm

      joyinthewaiting - You are so welcome! I wondered if we would celebrate too, but with it being the biggest celebrated Holiday I felt like we should. I always want her growing up knowing her heritage. But the stories and folklore that come with it we plan on telling like a story, no different than Frozen, Santa, or anything like that. Definitely think about it! Even if you just get a New Year cartoon book from Amazon to read new year. They make one every year that represents what animal it is. I just don’t want her growing up and start asking questions and me having no clue about her heritage. And I wish I could find some pre-made wontons! 🙂 Will be looking for those next year!ReplyCancel

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