Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 Year of the Snake

Chinese New Year is almost upon us again.  The Year of the Dragon is ending and the Year of Snake will begin.  To read more about what Chinese New Year (CNY) is and about last year's festivities click here!

Apparently those born in the year of the snake will be thoughtful and wise and to approach problems rationally and logically, seldom instinctively.  They are clever and men of few words from their birth. They do well in business, but they can be stingy. 

We have already enjoyed several festivities.  EBean's school held a charity drive and CNY activities a few weeks ago.  We pulled up to school and were greeted with dragon dancers and drums & cybals.  It was hard not to get excited!

Around the school there were several stations with activities and food for the children to enjoy.  Our first stop was for cotton candy, which EBean devoured while we watched the drum & cymbal and dragon dance performances.

A little video of the drum & cymbal performance
a dragon dance at EBean's school:

EBean passed on the dumpling making and traditional paper cutting, but she did make a craft and homemade playdoh.  We also paused for a cupcake break (not a traditional Chinese food!)  We bought some paperwhite narcissus bulbs to take home and I grabbed some dumplings & spring rolls to go -- yummy!

Yes, she has her coat on inside.  Like most
Chinese buildings, businesses, and schools,
they are not fully heated or the windows are
left open for fresh air.

Snakes (and other animals) made of reeds.
Jamie has already had his annual CNY dinner at work.  Because Jamie was traveling to the US, we were only able to attend one dinner this year.  Like last year, he had to get up in front of all 800 or so people and give a short welcome...or so he thought.  Instead, he had to participate in a talent competition!  It's unclear whether the email discussing the plans for the talent competition never reached Jamie's inbox or if he overlooked this small detail, but Jamie did well under pressure.  He followed the lead of the that went before him and chose to whistle a tune.

Jamie with his Human Resources manager,
as he is discovering there is a talent competition.
Jamie's great performance, even under pressure!

Jamie's boss, with his lovely assistant (his daughter),
performing his "talent", which was folding and attempting
to fly a paper airplane through his daughter's arms.

There was a wide range of entertainment, but only one Michael Jackson song this year.  Gangnam style ruled this year as well as the Hope School children performed.

LBean also had a CNY performance at her school.  The children worked very hard and each age-group performed songs and dances.  LBean wore her qipao (Chinese dress).

LBean is in the middle, with the navy cardigan on.

I think we can make it official now, LBean has conquered
her fear of being on stage!

LBean's school CNY party was yesterday.  She celebrated by making red paper lanterns and red envelopes and playing the classic US school game, Heads Up 7 Up.

Carefully cutting out her paper lantern.
LBean with her thumbs up because she had been chosen
by a classmate.  The hard part is figuring out who had tapped
her on the shoulder!

We are not traveling for Chinese New Year, so while the largest human migration in the world is taking place around us, we'll be nestled up in our apartment.  We are excited and a bit worried about the number of fireworks that will be going off around the clock for several days.  At least we should have a good view of them from our 27th floor apartment!  

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