Chinese New Year Birthday Party

Did you know that the seventh day of the Chinese New Year is considered “everybody’s birthday”? Today is the third day of the Lunar New Year which is a time for sons-in-laws to pay respects to their parents-in-law. In addition, families who’ve lost an immediate relative in the past three years will not be partying at other people’s homes tonight. Rather, the day is reserved for visiting cemeteries and remembering loved ones who are no longer on Earth. This tradition is practiced in China, as well as Taiwan, Vietnam, and other nations with a significant Chinese population. Here in the … Continue reading

Capturing Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is in full swing around the world. Welcoming the Year of the Dragon with fireworks, long noodles and dancing lions is something you don’t want to miss capturing with your camera. Delicious Chinese dishes and prancing wildcats are easy to snap in the daylight, but what about all those incredible nighttime Lunar New Year aerial pyrotechnics displays? If you are planning to document the many festive firework shows that will be exploding in the skies during the remainder of the 15-day New Year’s celebration, consider the following tips: Tripod: It is extremely challenging to capture decent shots … Continue reading

Celebrating Lunar New Year’s Eve

Lunar New Year festivities are already underway in Beijing. Massive firework displays, colorful parades and high-energy street parties kicked off the 15-day celebration. In the United States, the Year of the Dragon is ushered in at midnight and ends with the Lantern Festival on February 6th. To commemorate the holiday, make like the Chinese and get cleaning. People in China believe you should begin a new year with a fresh start. By purging unnecessary items from your home you decrease clutter and bring harmony and balance to your life. In addition, a deep-clean is thought to rid bad luck and … Continue reading

Simple Chinese New Year’s Fun

Ear-numbing firecrackers, amazing noodle dishes and feeding crisp dollar bills to dancing lions; these are three things I remember most about celebrating Chinese New Year in my hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to ring in the start of the Chinese lunar calendar in paradise this year. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be having fun ushering in the Year of the Dragon. This January 23rd, grab the kids, don your most festive red outfits and wish each other a hearty “Xin Nian Kuai Le.” Then, raid your craft closet to make these simple Chinese New Year … Continue reading

In the News: Plan Ahead for a Beijing Wedding

Beijing is everywhere in the news as we anticipate the 2008 Summer Olympics which are to be hosted in China’s capital city of Beijing. August 8, 2008 is going to be a very busy wedding day or so the marriage license offices are anticipating. August 8th is the first day of the Olympic Games. The numbers 8 and 6 are auspiciously lucky numbers in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. August 8, 2008 comprises 3 8s together. For the Chinese people, this date is extremely fortuitous to plan a wedding on because the numbers will promise happiness and good fortune. Plan Ahead … Continue reading

Lunar New Year

Many adoptive families choose to celebrate the heritage of their children’s birth country. China, Korea and Vietnam account for large numbers of international adoptions. Those countries, along with Japan and others, celebrate Lunar New Year. This date fluctuates every year but always occurs in late January or in February at the time of the new moon. Some customs common in China include cleaning the house on New Year’s Eve, wearing new clothes New Year’s Day, giving children money in red envelopes (red is the color of good luck), firecrackers and fireworks shows, and parades featuring dragons and the lion dance. … Continue reading

Seasonal Travel–Where To Celebrate Chinese New Year

If you can’t make it to Hong Kong to ring in the Chinese New Year don’t despair. Several cities throughout North America are hosting events and activities to celebrate the year of the Boar. This year Chinese New Year begins on February 18th and runs through March 4th. If you live in the United States you can leave your passport at home and enjoy the following parades and festivals in the following cities: NEW YORK What: Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival When: Sunday, February 18, 2007 Where: Chatham Square (Intersection of Bowery, Mott & East Broadway) The event features all-day … Continue reading

Where to Embrace Your Inner Dragon

It’s Day Four of Chinese New Year and I still keep writing 4709 on all of my checks. Oh, I kill me. Four down, 11 to go. Lunar New Year 4710 celebrations get bigger and better as the days progress. If you haven’t had the chance to immerse yourself in the pomp and pageantry of the Year of the Dragon, check out these travel hot spots where the 15-day celebration is in full swing: CHICAGO On Sunday, January 29th get up-close and personal with dancing lions, elaborate floats and a myriad of marching bands at the annual Chinatown New Year’s … Continue reading

Dance with Dragons and Lions

Last year my family spent the Chinese New Year in Hawaii. My then 5-year-old shimmied in the streets at a local New Year’s festival while feeding dollar bills to colorful dancing lions and dragons. This year Chinese New Year falls on February 3rd and we’ll be roughly 5,000 miles away from the sunny streets of Hawaii where we enjoyed phenomenal parades, a fantastic fireworks show and some of the best homemade Chinese food outside of China. Sadly, we won’t be spending the kick-off to the Year of the Rabbit in my hometown. However, there are many cities across the country … Continue reading

Family Fun Weekends

Visit Disneyland next weekend to meet Baloo and other rarely-seen Disney characters Everyone knows that the Disney Parks don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party. Sometimes their festivities for actual holidays seem dimmed, because fireworks and parades are almost daily occurrences at the parks. Still, we can trust Disney World or Disneyland to roll out something special for even the most minor of holidays. The first few months of the year are packed with various cultural celebrations, and this year Disneyland has decided to take advantage of that and host a months-long party. The official parks blog … Continue reading