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Celebrate Chinese New Year 2009: Year of the Ox

year of the oxThis important Chinese holiday celebrates the beginning of a New Year according to the lunar calendar. It starts on a New Moon and ends with the lantern festival on the full moon about 15 days later. Although in some areas the lantern festival is on a weekend for convenience. Celebrations can last up to a month with big family gatherings, gift giving, the eating of symbolic foods and displays of festive decorations–all focused on bringing good luck for the new year and celebrating the coming of Spring.

Celebrate with your children
– Read about the holiday, Happy New Year! / Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts’ai! by Demi or Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
– Red is the symbol of fire and believed to drive away bad luck. Wear red clothes; decorate the house with red decorations.
– Make paper lanterns with construction paper.
– 2009 is the Year of the Ox. Make an ox pin or magnet
– During Chinese New Year it is common for children to receive a red envelope containing money as a gift from family members. Make your own red envelope and fill it with good luck wishes or money.
– Make a colorful dragon mask and have a dragon parade.
– Read the Kids Craft Chinese New Year Newsletter for more project ideas and how-to’s
– Make a chinese feast at home or order food from Lucky Garden on Smith Street.
– Learn more about Chinese culture, learn the language and attend some local events.
Visit Mei Mei and Me—a great local resource in Rhode Island.

Upcoming events to celebrate the Chinese New Year locally:

RISD Museum Free-For-All Saturday: Paper Lanterns
Date: Saturday, Jnauuary 31, 2009
Time: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Celebrate Chinese New Year by creating paper lanterns of different colors and watching an exciting performance by Maine Thunder. For families of all ages; free admission.
Location: RISD Museum’s Chace Center Galleries, Providence RI
Cost: Free

China Adoption With Love New Year Celebration 2009
Date: Saturday, January 31, 2009
Time: 11 am – 3 pm (Lunch from Noon to 1:30 pm w/ dessert and tea following)
Location: Christina’s, 2 Washington St., Route 1, Foxboro, MA
Cost: See website for details

Chinese New Year’s Celebration at the University of Rhode Island
Date: Sunday, Feb.1, 2009
Time: 2:00 — 3:30 pm. Doors open at 1:30 pm.
Programs in Chinese and English are organized and sponsored by the Confucius Institute.
Location: Edwards Auditorium, URI, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus
Cost: Free and open to the public. A donation of $5 per adult is encouraged to support the Institute.

Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2009
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Come see the Chinatown Lion Dance Parade Kick off at 10am on stage Phillips Square
Location: Chinatown – Boston, MA
Cost: Free

RIACA (RI Association of Chinese Americans) Chinese New Year’s Celebration 2009
Date: Saturday, February 7, 2009
Time: 10:30 am to 3 pm
A dazzling performance of music, dance, and martial arts by the award-winning Art Troupe of the High School Affiliated with Renmin University of Beijing, China (above), will provide the grand finale at Bryant University’s Chinese New Year Celebration
Location: Bryant University Multipurpose Activity Center, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI
Cost: Admission is free and open to the public. Lunch is available for $7.

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Written by Anisa Raoof