The Year of the Rabbit is now upon us. My kids went off to school in their new outfits this morning, and I did manage to make noodles last night to ensure our long lives, but I did not clean the house from top to bottom nor give my kids haircuts, as custom mandates. I hope this does not bode ill for the Rabbit Year, which by all accounts is supposed to be placid and peaceful, just what we all need.
InCulture Parent has posted several fun craft projects for the Lunar New Year. My daughter came home from her Chinese daycare with a thumbprint plum blossom painting, and it is my favorite art project either of my children has done in four years of school. Simple and lovely and befitting the holiday. ICP also posted a recipe I put together for yuanxiao, a sweet treat for the holiday which is enjoyed all year around in our house (usually not made by hand, however).
While looking over our selection of Chinese New Year themed books, I realized that several were written by local authors here in the Bay Area. A new addition my kids got this year from friends is Year of the Rabbit, the latest in the series of zodiac-themed books by Oliver Chin. It presents a humorous and simple introduction to the animals of the zodiac, clearly aimed at children who did not grow up with the Chinese tradition.
A couple of years ago when I came across The Cable Car and the Dragon, I thought the book must have been written with my son in mind. Cable cars and dragon dances in one book! Do all five-year-olds feel so passionately about those two things? It’s a wonderful story about San Francisco, an escapee dragon, and a cable car come to life, which my son adores.
For those who are interested, Oliver Chin will be reading at several New Year events in the area. In the meantime, my son’s Chinese immersion school has the day off tomorrow, so we are going skiing (and bringing our hotpot with us).
Happy New Year! 兔年大吉！
[Image courtesy of OnTask]