Monday, February 27, 2012

A small party for Chinese New Year

Hayley has been wanting to have her cousin up to celebrate the Chinese New Year. She has always been fascinated by their culture. The Chinese New Year was actually in January but we weren't able to work our schedules out so we delayed our celebration by a month. Hayley planned it and actually wanted to do more but we weren't able to get some things ordered in time. However they were having so much fun that some of the planned things slipped
This year was year of the dragon, so she found some pictures to print out and create a banner.

Of course their American Girls were a big part of the celebration and Hayley set up a table for them also.

Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the Chinese and is usually celebrated between January 21st and February 19th, is fixed according to the Chinese lunar calendar as the second new moon after winter solstice.

Crafts were planned.

Books were read....

Some interesting traditions are removing bad luck from the past year and getting good luck for the upcoming year.
This includes beliefs such as:
Thoroughly cleaning the house, paying all debts and businesses would be closed.
New clothes are worn especially, shoes because it is considered bad luck to wear old shoes and step on the ground New year's day.
Special feast is held and the old paper image of the kitchen God is replaced with a new one.
These festivities traditionally last for 15 days until the Lantern festival.

Red is the symbol of happiness and is used for the decorations and festivities, children are given red envelopes with money, which I did for each of the girls :-)
Kathleen made the fans for each of them.

Hayley planned a scavenger hunt that had them running all over the house top to bottom!

Special purses filled with Chinese erasers were the prize:-)

Yup, we even were sure to get the chopsticks!

Although we were planning a menu, we decided to order authentic Chinese food that day so the kids could really get a feel for the culture and food how it is prepared. Above are Won Tons.

The girls enjoyed trying to eat with chopsticks! :-)

O.k. so they did sneak in some french fries, shhhhh! ;-)

Fortune cookies of course!!

Here's a recipe for you to try your own fortune cookies!

2 egg whites
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
pinch salt
3 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. spray several cookie sheets with vegetable cooking spray.
Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients, whisking until smooth. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the mixture on a prepared cookie sheet. Spread the batter into a 3 1/2 inch circle. Place three circles on the sheet pan at a time about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until golden brown about 10-12 mins. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Working with one at a time fold in half bottom facing each other. Pull the ends downward over the rim of a glass to make the shape, hold several seconds to keep the shape. If too firm place in oven to reheat slightly.
Cut out slips of paper with fortunes written on them and slip inside the cookie.

Hayley prepping the craft to make Chinese ladies.

They also colored their own dragons.

New Years greetings in Chinese:

Kunh-Hi (pronounced Kaw-ng Hee) means I wish you joy.

Kung-hai Fa-ts'ai (pronounced Kaw-ng-hsee Fah-tsai) means Happy greetings and may you gather wealth.

The girls played so well together and went off to build forts in the basement :-)

From one side of the basement.....

to the other! LOL Using almost every sheet and blanket they could find in the house.

We even headed out for some shopping, dinner and a trip to the arcade! They had so much fun!!
After a late night, a little sleeping in on Sunday and a big breakfast Jerry prepared they were raring to go again!

So my sister and I got to go out by ourselves for awhile and the guys hung out with the girls. It was a great weekend that went by way too quickly! We're looking forward to summer so we have some more time to get together without school!!

So proud of you Hayley for researching and taking interest in the world around you. :-) You did a great job!



KERRY said...

I think this is so cool how your daughter is taking an interest in other cultures, she will learn so much from this and inherit some wonderful memories also, of her time as a child. She did a great job, and you being her mother are doing a great job encouraging her.
It certainly looks like they all had so much fun!! My son loves fortune cookies :)

Kris said...

Oh my, how fun for the girls! They really did it up right!! I miss those days with my girls but I get to have them again with my grands!!

Simone said...

What a fun weekend! No wonder there's always smiles on your girls faces!! Terrific ideas. I would've loved to have been there to show them how to make sushi. Yum!

Mark said...

It's almost 6a.m. and I'm now starving. I either want noodle soup with fries or bacon and eggs. I should go wake up Fred and see if he'll cook all that for me. What do you think my chances are?
And an envelope packed with Cash? Can the girls send me an invitation to next year's party? I'm an awesome sheet-fort builder!

Annie said...

Looks like a great party! How did those fortune cookies turn out? I tried making some once and they were NOT good, but I'd try again with a highly-recommended recipe.

BTW...I still have trouble eating with chopsticks, too. :)

McVal said...

Wow! Your girls are so creative! So is the end of Feb really like maybe a Dutch New Year? Less restrictions I think... But the fortune cookies taste better the Chinese way!

Heather said...

Ne Hao!!! Your celebration turned out wonderful looks like everyone had a lot of fun...Happy New Year :) love Heather

Tara said...

Dear Hayley,

Can my daughter and I come next year? You are amazing. My daughter is Chinese (adopted when she was 1) and I don't even do something as special for CNY as you did. What a extra specail girl you must be... I love all that you planned. You really put a lot into each activity. Maybe one day you might be a teacher and teach children about different cultures. Bravo! Next year I'm going to copy some of your ideas! tara (from CT)

Julie Harward said...

How fun...these are the things I miss with my kids gone now. You have a sweet family Jill. :)

Sweet Tea said...

Hooray for the girl and special Kudos to Hayley. What a great way to learn about other parts of our world!...Do you know my daughter's blog, "Land of Fluff"? She has 3 daughters and I think the two of you would really enjoy each others blog. Lots of great ideas between the two of you!