Today is Chinese New Year and it's officially the Year of the Dragon! We are going to celebrate by having a Chinese dinner with dragon decorations, masks, and a dragon cake, if I get it done. I got most of my ideas from FamilyFun.com. Just go to their website and scroll down 'til you see the dragon, and then click on the things you want to see. They have lots of fun ideas and even recipes for easy dishes. Some of them my kids would never try, like the shrimp wontons, but I'm just adjusting them by using ground pork instead of the meats or seafood that they won't eat. I found a Chinese/English translating website and made a menu with real Chinese characters and I will put one of these at each place setting, along with a Chinese Good Luck knot. I got those instructions from YouTube. (You can find almost anything there!) I hope it will be lots of fun, and that the kids will learn a little something about the Chinese culture. I'm going to find out when it will be midnight in China and we will all yell "Happy Chinese New Year!!!" and use our noisemakers and then have Dragon Cake. I will post photos of the table when its all set. I'm excited to do this with my grandkids. I used to do crazy things like this with my own kids and they still remember, so now it's time to make memories with their children. I just wish more of them lived close enough to join in.
Any way, here are some photos of our Chinese New Year projects. In the first one you can see all of our dragons.
We have little felt dragons, dragon masks and a ribbon dragon to go down the middle of the table. In the second photo, you can see all the noisemakers. They have a dragon on one side and the Chinese character for Spring Luck on the other side. I found out that the Chinese have a different character for luck in each of the seasons, and since it's almost Spring, that's the one I used.
We decorated the paper strip that goes around the side of the noise maker, too. The last two photos are the Chinese Good Luck knots. I made them from some leftover Parachord I had. They were really easy to make. I was surprised at how fast I learned!
The close up looks like I had some kind of filter on the camera. The cord is actually hot pink! I'm not sure what happened, but I wanted you to see the knot up close. I couldn't believe how easy it was.
I'll be back tomorrow with a report on the dinner and whether it was a success or not, plus photos. Until then, here's an old Chinese saying for you: "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else." Pretty good wisdom, if you ask me. See you tomorrow!