that’s Cantonese for “Happy New Year” and today we celebrated with a bit of Chinese fun.
While the younger two napped, Tallinn and I prepared for the festivities by making lots of mini lanterns. It’s a bit questionable as to whether or not these lanterns are legitimately Chinese or Japanese, but our Chinese party guest said they passed for Chinese lanterns. (Yurie, on the other hand, said she made these growing up and that they were “Japanese”). Nonetheless, they were made with excitement and we called them “Chinese”.
Using 6 x 6 inch squares of fun Asian print and red papers, we folded the papers in half, then cut slits on the fold (about 7-8). Then, we folded the papers in half the opposite direction and stapled the ends together. Punching holes through both sides, we then strung the lanterns on some twine and hung them across our entry way.
Then we welcomed our guests. Passing out paper bowls, each child painted a Chinese hat. I pre-drew four areas on the hats and they simply filled in each space with an alternating color, using red and yellow.
While waiting for the hats to dry, the kids had some fun Chinese-style snacks-clementines, fortune cookies, green tea and a cupcake. I found the cupcake idea online, which then made me get the idea for the party as they were too cute not too share. I just made a simple cake recipe and then topped the cupcakes with a burgundy-ish frosting (I was out of true red). (Actually, I was out of frosting altogether, and even what was necessary to make homemade frosting-I’m not quite the planner. Leave it to my fabulous friend, Amanda to help me out in a pinch and provide not only the frosting, but the red plates and tablecloth! She rocks!) Then, I copied a template for the word “happiness” or “good luck” in Chinese. Yurie saw them and said “Oh, happiness”, so apparently they were legible….and delicious!
By the end of the party, I think there was paint and frosting all over our house, but it wiped up quickly and easily and the “process” was enjoyed by everyone.
We finished things up with rickshaw rides for all, a huge hit for our little friends. My sweet friend Anita had brought authentic Chinese New Year’s envelopes for the kids and Tallinn distributed them to each child as they left.
Today Tallinn said to me “Mom, we’re not Chinese, though.” I guess it’s fun to pretend.