Chinese Lunar New Year!

The Hittys slept in this morning, but after breakfast, they came into the Gathering room to find a few things looking a bit different. There were some different decorations – some lanterns, some statutes by the fireplace, and waiting were HittyG and Nanny Hope with someone they did not recognize. HittyG announced that the central lantern was sent to them by Fung Hicks in celebration of the Lunar New Year. She then introduced the guest as Hitty Joy and explained that she was there to start their new year by serving them tea in a special ceremony.

The room is prepared for our special guest, Hitty Joy and the Lunar New Year celebration

Everyone is present for the tea ceremony

The girls enjoyed their simple tea while Hitty Joy told them something about the Chinese culture and the New Year Celebrations. There are 15 days to the Lunar New Year, sometimes known as the Spring Festival. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th.

Tea is always served with both hands on the cup to the eldest first as a sign of respect, so HittyG got the first cup. Bowing is also a sign of greeting and respect – the Chinese do not usually shake hands as we do in America. The “Chinese Tiger” is the Chinese zodiac symbol for number three, and there are three lanterns hung in the room, reminding us that today begins the Year of the Tiger. In the Chinese culture, numbers are important, but they can be considered to be lucky or unlucky, depending on the occasion, but usually an even number is considered more lucky than an odd number. Since there are six campers, they are lucky. She also told them that the Lunar New Year was a time of gift-giving, so she was giving to each of them, as is a custom, a red envelope containing two coins (for luck, of course).

HittyG promised to take special care of the envelopes and see that they were sent home with the campers.

6 red envelopes with coins for campers

And the gift-giving continued as HittyG announced that because they would not be there on Lantern day, the 15th and final day of the Lunar New Year festival, she was sending each camper home with a special lantern on a stick, just like the two that Nanny Hope had with her.

Nanny Hope displays two paper lanterns

Lanterns to celebrate at home on the 15th day, March 1

The girls were very excited, but even more excitement awaits them this day.


2 Responses to “Chinese Lunar New Year!”

  1. Vicki B. Says:

    What a beautiful tradition! I bet the campers were very excited to learn about the Chinese New Year, and the Tea ceremony.

  2. Denise Says:

    What lucky girls to have such a nice Chinese New Year. The little tea ceremony, red envelope gifts and lanterns are so cute!

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