Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!  I wanted to wish all of my blogging friends a happy new year before I continue to celebrate (and eat a big dinner) with my own family and friends.  I'm super happy because I was born on the year of the Snake so it is exciting to see pictures of Snakes everywhere.

Today is the start of the most important festival of the Chinese culture.  To compare it to the American culture, it is like the our Thanksgiving since the Chinese people use this time to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Below are a few quick facts about the Chinese New Year:

As you may see in many Chinese New Year products, you see different greetings in Chinese.  I just wanted to clarify what they mean when you teach your students.

"Gong Hay Fat Choy" vs. "Gong Xi Fa Cai"
Both of these Chinese greetings mean congratulations/ happy new year but one is in Cantonese and the other is in Mandarin.

Gong Xi Fa Cai (KONG tsee fah chy): Gong xi means "congratulations" and Fa Cai is become rich or make money.

Gong Hay Fat Choy: This is the Cantonese greeting.  It is the equivalent greeting to the Mandarin greeting.  This is what I say to others because my family are Cantonese-speaking (Chinese people from Hong Kong).  The Cantonese language is like the Italian language of Spanish.

When you receive your Red envelopes,  the Receiver should greet the Giver by saying Happy Chinese New Year then take the Red envelope with TWO hands.  It is a form of respect to your elders.  Some people bow as they do this, but now in the modern days some people don't.

How to correctly find your Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign:
Many people confuse their Chinese birth yea with their Gregorian (our calendar) birth year.  As the Chinese New Year starts in late January to mid-February, the Chinese year dates from January 1 until that day in the new Gregorian year remain unchanged from the previous Gregorian year.

This took me a long time to understand when I was younger so here is an example.  The 1989 year of the snake began on February 6, 1989.  The year 1990 is considered by some people to be the year of the Horse.  HOWEVER, the 1989 year of the snake OFFICIALLY ended on February 8, 1990.  This means that anyone born from January 1 to February 7, 1990 was actually born in the year of the SNAKE rather than the year of the Horse.

I told my boyfriend about this issue because he has a January birthday.  All of his life, he thought he was a Snake but when we looked up when Chinese New Year started on his birth year (it was in Feb), we found out he was actually a Dragon (the animal before the Snake).  He was so excited he is scared of snakes and the Dragon is a cooler animal.

So if you were born in the months January or February, you should check what day Chinese New Year was in your birth year to determine your correct zodiac animal.  Many online Chinese Sign calculators do not account for the non-alignment of the two calendars.

I hope you learned something new in my post about my Chinese heritage and culture.  I would love to hear your thoughts about Chinese New Year!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chinese New Year Lantern Craft (freebie)

Already one month down in the year 2013?  Wow, time does really go by fast...  With just 3 days until Chinese New Year starts (Feb. 10-24), a lot of people in the Asian communities are preparing for the biggest Asian holiday.

On the last day of this special holiday is the Lunar New Year.  It celebrates the first new moon of the new year.  On this day, people decorate their homes, the streets, stores and restaurants with beautiful, bright red lanterns.  The lanterns are typically decorated with pictures, designs, or words to bring good luck into the new year.

One of my favorite crafts is the Chinese New Year Lantern.

To make this craft, click here for the freebie or the picture below to get the instructions.  This craft is also included in my Chinese New Year Unit at  my TpT and TN stores.

Click {here} for another craft idea I posted about Chinese New Year-- Chinese fans.  They are fun and easy to make!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Currently February and a giveaway!

Already one month down in the year 2013?  Wow, time does really go by fast...

Before I forget (missed the last couple months), here is my Currently from Farley.
It's been a very LONG and LOUD week for me.  Many of my students had many meltdowns (I'm blaming the weather change).  I felt like my head was constantly filled with kid's screaming.  So I'm praising and thanking the Lord that it is FRIDAY!

About my pet peeves:
Nail biting-  Honestly just sticking your hand in your mouth is gross.  Also, I think I just developed this pet peeve recently because I work in a Kindergarten classroom and they just can't stop sucking, licking, and biting their hand/nails!

Bad Drivers-  I believe I don't have a high road rage but I get very irritated with bad drivers on the road.  Especially cell phone drivers!!  It's super annoying to see people texting, talking, checking Facebook, etc instead of paying attention of the road.  Anyone else annoyed about this?

Put Downs-  I think this is many teacher's pet peeves.  I don't like it and I don't like hearing it.  The good thing about working in an autistic kinder classroom, I don't hear too many put downs compared to a typical Kindergarten classroom.

One more thing! Don't forget to check out my fellow blogging friend's , Mary at Pitner's Potpourri, 11000 Followers Giveaway!

Last but not least, if you can't wait to win my product from Mary's giveaway then check out my Chinese New Year product at my TpT store.  It's on sale for the Super Bowl weekend!!  Use the code SUPER to get 10% off on top of my discounted product.

Have a SUPER DUPER Friday!