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Welcome the Chinese New Year

Year of the RatThis important Chinese holiday celebrates the beginning of a New Year–this year being the Year of the Rat–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.
– Make this colorful dragon mask and have a dragon parade.
– 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 New Year locally:

– RIACA (RI Association of Chinese Americans) Chinese New Year’s Celebration 2008
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2008
Time: 11 am to 3 pm, with a lunch break ($5.00) from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.
Location: Bryant University Multipurpose Activity Center, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI

– China Adoption With Love New Year Celebration 2008
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2008
Time: Noon – 3 pm (Lunch from Noon to 1:30 pm w/ dessert and tea following; Check-in at the door required, starting at 11:30 am)
Location: Christina’s, 2 Washington St., Route 1, Foxboro, MA

– FCC CT/RI/Cent MA New Year Celebration 2008
Date: Sunday, February 10, 2008
Time: 2 pm – 5 pm (meal included)
Location: North Kingstown High School, N. Kingstown, RI

– Chinese New Year’s Celebration at the University of Rhode Island
Date: Feb.17, Sunday, 2008
Time: 2:30 — 4:30 pm
Location: Fine Arts Concert Hall, University of Rhode Island
Programs in Chinese and English are free and open to the public. $5 donation per adult is suggested to support the Confucius Institute

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