Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gong Hey Fat Choy, Y'all!

Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2010 marks the Year of the Tiger!  This 15 day celebration began February 14th this year, and is observed by Chinese folks and Asians around the world.  CNY is a very important holiday in Chinese culture, more so than any other, including birthdays.  It symbolizes the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  Let's hope this will soon be true, this season has been brutal for so many.  To learn more about Chinese New Year, visit here

Because my daughter was born in China, Chinese New Year is a special holiday in our home.  Every year we learn more about the traditions, and we add to a small stash of decorations we've been collecting over the years.  We trim the house with paper lanterns, eat small oranges for good luck, and attend parties with friends that include Dragon Dances and fancy Chinese restaurants.  Each year I read a CNY story to my daughter's class at school, and we bring her friends red envelopes with coins, a well-loved custom that symbolizes prosperity for the new year.  Our coins happen to be chocolate, always a big hit with the preschool and kindergarten crowd!  For fun CNY activities for kids, including stories, crafts, and games, check out this site.

My favorite hallmark of CNY is to remember ancestors that went on before us, as well as to get the house super tidy to be rid of negative energy and start the new year with a clean slate.  Sounds good in theroy at least, although I've still got some work to do.  Thankfully it is a 15 day holiday, so maybe (possibly??) I'll be in good shape by then.  A mom can dream...     

CNY is an important time to honor family and friends, and for counting blessings, too.  As a Texan who is not so well-traveled, I fumble my way through the holiday and its customs.  Like everything else in my life, I learn about this tradition as I fly by the seat of my pants, but I always enjoy the ride.  In honor of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Tiger, I created the collage above.  The child on the end in blue reminds me of my daughter when she was a toddler, complete with chubby (squishable!) cheeks and cautious demeanor.  This collage is for sale in my Etsy shop.

"Gong hey fat choy" or "gong xi fa cai", both are traditional Chinese New Year greetings, meaning "best wishes for a happy and prosperous year".  To hear the pronunciation and see the Chinese characters for these phrases, click on this cool site.   Gong Hey Fat Choy, dear friends!  May the Year of the Tiger be good to us all.


  1. "Gong hey fat choy" to you as well, Laurie!

    I enjoyed learning a bit about you this morning, and of course, now I'm itching to know how a Texan had her daughter in China. 'o)

    What intrigues me about your collage is how the tradition of CNY intermingles with the iconic colors and symbols of the United States. Interesting!

    Have a great day!

  2. I am so thrilled that you are joining The Artistic Mother's Group.
    We will be allowing two weeks for each project. But if you get behind, please don't worry. Just keep working a little each day. The whole point of this group is to develop the habit of doing art each day. It is also so we can encourage one another and be an accountability group. I personally need the accountability part of it. Knowing that others are coming to see what I'm up to is very motivational; otherwise, I may not finish it on my own. Some projects may be easier for you than others and may allow you to catch up. But if you don't, don't get discouraged. Just keep on going. This is a low pressure group. I want everyone to have fun and also enjoy visiting one another.
    And please do a blog post about your participation in the group inviting others to join. Please give a link to my blog for those who may wish to join so they can come here and get the details and sign in. I am keeping a master list of all participants.

    Each week do a post of your progress as you go through the book. When posting each week, please mention the group with a link to my blog. That way people can go to my blog and see the list of the other participants and click around to see their progress as well.

    Since our group has grown so much, instead of having to put all of the links in each post or on your sidebar, I have made a button for the group. Just grab my button and put that in your sidebar. I will keep the list of all participants in my sidebar.

    Please check my blog often for tips, notes of encouragement and exciting news. And please go and read my previous posts because they contain resources that will help you get a good start with the group.

    Please also go back and read all of the posts I have written about The Artistic Mother group, starting near the end of February and going on through March, because there is a lot of good information in those posts that will help you get a good start with us.

    And could you please send me your email address to sewingwithtrudy at yahoo dot com so that if I want to do a group email I'll have everyone's address? Thanks so much.

    Trudy Callan
    Be sure and check my blog often for updates and notes of encouragement.

    I am signing up as follower and putting you on my blog list so I can know when you post, and I am adding your name to the list right now.

Again, I am so glad you could join us.
    Note: Due to copyright laws, we are not allowed to do tutorials or step-by-step photos of the projects on our blogs or take photos of the pages in the book and post them. You may post a photo of your version of the project and talk about your experiences and feelings relating to it.

    Also, if you are doing this project with a friend, each person must have their book unless you are doing it together under the same roof. No photocopying of the book, please.