Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year!

2012 - The year of the Dragon

Expect this to be a very energetic year, filled with optimism, power and entrepreneurship.  However, the year is of water dragon, which means that even the most powerful will give a patient hearing to the weaker, and will try to see through their point of view.  Better alliances and decision will take place.

When is Chinese New Year 2012?
Chinese New Year is observed for two consecutive weeks, and is popularly known as Spring Festival. It usually starts from late January and early February. The variation in the date of festival is due to the changes in the track of the new moon. The Spring Festival ends on the 15th day when the Lantern festival is celebrated.

Chinese New Year 2012

In 2012, Chinese New Yearâ??s Day will be celebrated on January 23. The New Year festival will start from January 22 (Chinese New Year' Eve) and end on February 6 (Lantern Festival). 2012 marks the 4710th Chinese New Year, and this time it is the year of dragon according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.
The dragon is the 5th sign of the Chinese zodiac and it is regarded as an auspicious symbol which stands for power, good luck, success, and happiness.

History of the New Year Celebration

Since ancient times, the Chinese New Year was considered as the time to honor ancestors and heavenly deities. In addition, it was the time to organize family gatherings and grand feasts.
There is a legend associated with the celebration of New Year in China. There was a monster named Nian who used to harass the villagers by eating their crops, cattle and taking away their kids. The villagers had no other option but to place food at the entrance to their homes so that the monster would eat it and go away without harming them.

Our 2012 Chinese New year:
The kids had a blast going through our Chinese New Year craft box this year and reminiscing on our past years crafts.  We actually loved that Matthew made a huge dragon several years ago.  So of course, because its the year of the dragon we used this in our decorations this year.

This year we ordered Chinese food for dinner and will be taking a day trip to China Town.  In previous years we have shopped at our local Chinese Grocery and attempted to make our own Chinese meals.

our place setting

Matthew's dragon

our fruit bowl

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a free printable dragon mask. Made for you over at Alpha Mom.

Click HERE to download PDF file

Click HERE to download PDF file
Click HERE to download PDF file

Festive Ribbon Dragon
Celebrate Chinese New Year by crafting this mini version of the monster-size dragon used during holiday parades and festivities.
  • Craft foam
  • Colored glitter glue
  • Wired ribbon
  • Tacky glue
 Cut out the body shapes shown here from different colors of craft foam -- or use our template. Decorate the shapes with colored glitter glue and let them dry.  Cut a length of wired ribbon (ours is about 3 1/2 feet long by 2 1/2 inches wide). Lay it flat and use tacky glue to attach the body shapes. Be sure the glue is dry before curling the ribbon.
Check out this amazing Chinese Dragon cake from Couture Cakes by Angela.  Wow!

Here's a beautiful plush Dragon by Melissa & Doug--a perfect gift to celebrate Chinese New Year in the Year of the Dragon. 

Make a Dragon Puppet

Make a Dragon Puppet
Provided by Family Fun - click HERE to learn how

Year of the Dragon Party Ideas

this awesome party is from Kara's Party Ideas!
this is from another post from Kara's Party Ideas

Flying Dragon Puppet Miya at Jellyfish Jelly

A recipe for "Magic Dragon Puffs"
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut up
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. In 2-quart saucepan, heat water, butter and salt to rolling boil over medium heat. When butter is melted, remove from heat; stir in flour all at once until blended. 
2 Return to medium heat; cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly, until dough forms a ball and leaves a slight film on side of pan. 
3 Remove from heat; stir in eggs, one at a time, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives and basil. On cookie sheets, drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart into 1 1/4-inch mounds, making 30 mounds. 
4 Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown and set. Remove from oven; with tip of sharp knife, make small slit in side of each puff to allow steam to escape. Bake 5 to 8 minutes longer or until dry and firm.
These airy little puffs can be cut in half and filled with 1 tablespoon of your favorite salad such as egg salad, tuna salad, ham salad or seafood salad.
Puffs can be baked in advance and stored in airtight containers. Reheat on ungreased cookie sheets at 350°F 5 to 10 minutes.

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