Today, Kian's mom came to share a wonderful family tradition: Chinese New Year! The holiday was two days ago, so the visit to class today extended the celebration. Diana explained that Kian was wearing a red shirt today (and had worn one Tuesday) because red is a very special color for Chinese New Year; it's a lucky color that fights away evil spirits. Kian demonstrated how to play a traditional pellet drum. Then Diana explained that Chinese New Year comes after the January 1st New Year because it’s based on the lunar calendar, and that lunar means moon. Will noted that luna also means moon in Spanish.
Diana shared that families get together on Chinese New Year to celebrate and eat dumplings, and that they also clean their houses and wear new clothes. She then shared with the class some special clothing that Kian’s family had worn, like Kian’s Chinese New Year jacket and the chi pao, or traditional Chinese dress, that she had worn at her wedding. She read a book called The Dancing Dragon which drew lots of oohs and ahhh and some commentary.
Jossie: It’s so big!
Leigh: Monsters are not real.
Rowan: Monsters are camouflaged. That’s what my sister said.
After the story, Diana explained how everyone has an animal in the Chinese zodiac that’s kind of like your symbol. This year is the year of the pig. Rainey Room children born between June and December, like Kian, were born in the year of the Horse. Children born January through May were born in the year of the goat. Then Diana talked about hung bao, red envelopes typically filled with money and given to children at Chinese New Year. Last year, everyone received a dollar. This year, they all received beautiful chocolate coins with Chinese character stamped into the foil. As Kian passed out the envelopes, we all practiced wishing each other Happy Chinese New Year, or Xin Nian Kuai Le! Afterward we all continued the celebration over mandarins and red velvet cupcakes.
Thanks to Diana for an amazing celebration and for teaching us so much about Chinese New Year!
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.