Today is Chinese New Year! 2012 is the year of the Dragon! What year are you, you may ask? you can determine this by the picture I've included below:
This is only the 2nd time I've ever missed family celebration/gathering in Chinatown, NY. Every year my family travels to visit my Grandma Gong. When we get there all our cousins come over and we eat together and visit. When the dragon dances begin down below in the streets we head down with our cameras ready.
If you've never seen a Chinese New Year celebration, you should try to check one out. Especially the dragon dances. Businesses pay money to have their stalls and shops blessed at the beginning of each new year and to keep bad spirits away. The Dragons and their puppeteers slowly make their way up and down the streets, their massive and brightly colored heads jutting up into the air and then quickly ducking down again in jerky, but precise movements.
While they no longer allow fireworks to be set off in the middle of the streets, (for obvious reasons), they can't take away all the fun! Instead of sparklers and flames, they now have paper confetti and silly string, which in my mind is almost worst because of the clean up process those two items entail. Below are a series of photos of myself, exploding a large confetti canon.
So what did we do here in Elgin to celebrate the year of the Dragon? I made some veggie egg rolls, green beans, and rice. We ate our meal family style as always, finished the meal with some fortune cookies, and some handouts I made about each persons year/animal (we've got 3 dragons, 1 snake, 1 tiger, and 1 sheep in our house). I had also bought some paper confetti poppers for everyone, and when I bought them I had every intention of having everyone pop them. But I'll be honest, I kinda hoped everyone would forget so I wouldn't have to clean up the confetti...
To finish off this little post I wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year!!