Friday, February 15, 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Gong Xi, Gong Xi my little Lina<3. Mommy loves you very much. It is day six (out of 15 days) of Chinese New Year. It has been a busy few days, so Mommy was not able to write to you.

You enjoyed a pre-Chinese New Year's Eve dinner with your grandparents because PorPor was working Chinese New Year's Eve and day one. You love spending time with PorPor at her house. Although there was a blizzard of 2013 that came. Thank goodness, we made it through okay, with no power outages, not much by us.

The first day of Chinese New Year, we had enjoyed a very nice lunch with GongGong and KahnFu. We went to visit your great grandparents, and great uncle. You probably will only remember the lai see (red envelopes filled with money in Cantonese). You were very shy and did not want to play at all. All you wanted to be in was Mommy or Daddy's arms. :)

On day four of Chinese New Year, you spent the day with PorPor and had a lot fun playing with her. You know how to bow with your hands whenever Mommy says "Gong hay fat choi" which makes PorPor smiles.


Let's look at how to greet one another on Chinese New Year:

Spring Festival and Kids: A Festive Poem About the Traditions of Chinese New Year
A poem about Chinese New Year
Spring's here! It's Chinese New Year!
"Gong Xi Fa Cai" - you will hear.
The Night before, I'll stay past two
To Mom and Dad, "Long life to you!"

When daylight comes, I'll rise and shine.
It's a full day of 'hongbao' time!
I'll get so many till my pockets are full-
From parents, aunties... and uncles too.

Exchanging mand'rins two by two;
Goring goodies by the handful;
Vis'ting relatives - life is good;
Their usual phrase - "You've grown a foot!"

Chinese New Year is full of fun!
Who says tradition weighs a ton?
(Maybe those juicy mandrins) Yes -
A wee part of our Chinese fest.


This is a little touch of Chinese culture.

After Christmas, most of the decoration in the streets will be very efficiently removed to make way for the Chinese New Year decorations.

"Gong Xi Fa Cai" is a greeting that we wish other people. It means to wish them prosperity.

In the Chinese Tradition, little Children stay up past midnight (the eve of Chinese New Year) This is believed to bring longevity to their parents.

Hong Baos, also called red packets are paper envelopes that are designed with Chinese New Year motifs (pink blossoms, golden flowers, Chinese paintings, the Chinese word for spring or prosperity...) Inside these Hong Baos people put money inside and give it to children. Money that is put inside is only an even amount - 2, 4, 6, 8, 10... 20 dollars... as odd amounts of money are considered inauspicious.
Hong Baos are also given to special occasions such as someone's birthday or wedding.

Mandarin oranges are typically exchanged in twos, or even numbers but not odd. They represent gold.

During Chinese New Year, families will get together and people will travel long distances to have their family reunion. However in modern today, many families also seize this opportunity to steal a getaway as everyday life is so busy. Besides, school is also out during this time.

At people's homes (we usually visit the elders(more elderly members of the family)) we sit around and eat goodies like pineapple tarts and cookies. And it is during this time we get to see our distant relatives - a long distance affair.

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