family…the year of the ox.

Chinese New Year is embraced and celebrated in our house. It all began so innocently with a borrowed book from the library about the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year. Hmm, I think applying to a Mandarin immersion program had something to do with it too. In any case, the stories and celebrations are so appealing, we couldn't help but create our own Chinese New Year.

Of course, each of us has our own reasons for participating. D's excitement is centered around the celebrations, food [especially our improvised Tray of Happiness] and decorations. Husband prefers a delayed New Year celebration following Christmas, as it allows him to actually enjoy the prospect of the New Year and reflect upon the past year. My love of Chinese New Year is twofold.

Firstly, I love the cleaning and organizing ritual. It's more than a surface cleaning. It's a DEEP cleaning which means I tear apart a room,  then purge, clean and organize it. This is cathartic and relaxing for me. It's a clean slate in the literal and figurative sense. [My neighbor insists it's symptomatic of a "type A" personality, but I'm not sure what that means.] 

Secondly, Chinese New Year is a great reason to have a party! Especially since the house is in tip-top shape after all the cleaning. Here are pictures of the Year of the Rat party.

Our favorite books about Chinese New Year:  Hiss! Pop! Boom!,  Happy New Year! Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'Ai and Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats

Gung Hay Fat Choy!