Happy Chinese New Year - The Year of the Horse!
This year Chinese New Year falls on Friday, January 31 so I wanted to share a few ideas to make the day special as who doesn't need a great reason to celebrate?
When I worked as a Cultural Arts and Education Director, fresh out of college, I planned special events for the kids I worked with as part of my job...yes, it was a dream job for me! I loved introducing the kids to holidays such as Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa and Cinco de Mayo. I collected many ideas and resources over the years and thought I would share a few ideas with you today!
Here is a simple recipe to make homemade Fortune Cookies and don't forget the tea!
Fortune Cookie Recipe
3/4 cup egg whites
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine egg whites, sugar and salt until dissolved.
3. Add butter, flour and extracts and stir until blended.
4. Drop by tablespoonfuls several inches apart on a well-greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees until the edges are light brown.
6. Mold warm cookie over wooden spoon handle to form a cylindar. Insert "fortunes" and pinch ends together to shape tradtional cookie.
"You will have a year filled with good luck!"
"Ancient Chinese Secret: You’re a total fox!"
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
Use the Chinese New Year's traditional greeting: "Kung Hay Fat Choi" which means "Wishing you to Prosper!"
Children in China and Vietnam receive shiny red envelopes filled with money on New Year's that are tucked under pillows. You can make an envelope by using a nine-inch square of red paper. Find the center of the square by drawing an X on the paper from corner to corner. Fold all four corners of the paper to the center of the X. Open up one corner for the flap of the envelope and secure the remaining three corners by taping in place. Decorate with wishes for a prosperous New Year and fill with money.
Books for Kids:
Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
The Empty Pot by Demi
Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
The Chinese Mirror by Mirra Ginsburg
Liang and the Magic Paintbrush by Demi
The Rooster's Antlers: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac
The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Yang Compestine
For Intermediate Readers:
Confucius: The Golden Rule by Russell Freedman
Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities and Recipes by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and the Children's Museum of Boston.
A great resource for items you might need for Chinese New Year of learning more about Asia is the Asia for Kids catalog, www.asiaforkids.com that has music, books on tape, literature, crafts, cookbooks, multicultural dolls, and storytelling aids.
Did you know? The holiday traditionally lasts fifteen days and on New Year's Eve families watch the Dragon Parade, significant of good luck.