Happy Chinese New year!

Happy Chinese New year!! Its the year of the sheep! What does the year of the sheep hold in store for you? Click the link to read your chinese horsescope..  http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2015/2015Zodiac.htm

Being Chinese American, Chinese new years is a lot about old superstitions , food, and A ALOT of cleaning!!

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I cooked some of the traditional chinese dishes, I had to have a chicken dish, noodle dish, and potstickers. Along with a dish of apples and oranges for good luck. Each dish represents something special, for good times, cook shrimp because shrimp in chinese is pronounced “ha” which sounds like laughter; if you want a raise you are to eat lettuce because lettuce symbolizes rising fortune; if you are wanting to have children you are to eat anything with a lot of seeds since they represent new life. For longevity, eat lots of noodles as they represent long life; and lastly for good fortune make egg rolls or pot stickers which resemble gold bars and ingots and represent wealth.
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We celebrated Chinese New Year this past Saturday at the Asian art museum. They had the dragon dance and a lot of activities for the kids to do relating to the chinese culture. We all had a lot of fun.
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Then we celebrated with family this past Sunday. My Aunt and Uncle had an amazing amount of food and my Aunt outdid herself on the decorations and desserts.  I dressed the children in their chinese outfits and prepared the red envelopes for the children.
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The red envelopes often known as hongbao symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The married adults are supposed to fill the red envelopes with crisp bills and give to the children during Chinese New Year. There are several legends as to how the red envelope came to be and became prevalent in China. One story depicts a village where a demon was terrorizing the people at night, in most cases children were the victims. The belief was that the demon was touching the children’s head while they were asleep and this would cause the children to become deathly ill or may even result in death. As the theory continued to linger within the village, a worried couple decided to protect their new born child by praying to their god for protection. In return, their god sent eight fairies to protect the new born child from the demon. In order to trick the demon, the fairies disguised themselves as eight coins and were placed under the child’s pillow at night to protect the child. At night the demon supposedly approached to touch the child on the head when the eight coins began to shine so bright that it prohibited the demon to see. Frightened from what had just happened, the demon ran away in terror. After hearing this story, the villagers began spreading the word and gave out red envelopes filled with coins to be placed under their pillow at night. At first the red envelopes were only given to children during the Spring Festival, but as time progress they were given to anyone. By giving these red envelopes it would bring good luck and prosperity to the one receiving it. It would also prevent any evil spirits from contacting them throughout the year until the next Spring Festival.
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While getting into the spirit of Chinese New Years, I came across this youtube video on how to make an origami chinese mammon. I made one and so did my 6 year old son..so its VERY easy. I have included the link for you to try!!

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http://youtu.be/XRVaGl3k9G4

I hope that the year of sheep brings you a lot of happiness and prosperity. Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

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