Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Chinese New Year - Preparations

You can find all our posts on Chinese New Year HERE

Photo Credit: Penguincakes

Preparing for the Spring Festival starts weeks ahead of the New Year. The Chinese spend days cleaning every corner of the house, so that no bad luck from the old year will follow into the new year. Dusting, scrubbing, discarding unused or broken things and furnishings. Sweeping out the old year's bad luck.

We started by reorganizing the girls bedrooms. Elle and I hunkered down for a day, rearranging, discarding, and reorganizing (new shelves made a big difference). All she has left to do is clean behind her dressers, and under her bed (dreadful). Pea refuses any help with her bedroom, oh the privacy of teens, and it is taking her longer to get reorganized. She has been filling the goodwill bag, so that is promising. I, on the other hand, am much less motivated then I pretend to be. We are due for a spring cleaning, but the freezing weather outdoors does nothing for incentive. I would rather be curled up in a blanket, not cringing at the amount of dust that has accumulated over our light fixtures. Well, in honor of the New Year, dusting will be done!

It is also time to decorate for the festivities. Bowls of oranges and tangerines are set out. Oranges represent money and wealth and tangerines represent good luck. Fresh flowers, flowering branches and kumquat trees are placed throughout the house or at an altar.

The Chinese prepare themselves by getting a hair cut and buying a new outfit, as a way of being unrecognizable to the old year's bad spirits, and as a fresh way to start the new year. Old debts are payed off and strained relationships mended.

The timing is perfect, our whole family is due for a hair trim.

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