Day: January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year

lanterns

Chinese New Year is on 1/31 and this is the Year of the Horse.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday, Chinese New Year is, in many ways, a combination of Christmas/Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve.  Gifts are exchanged, often with symbolic meanings (cakes, fruit baskets, etc.).  Similar to Jews giving children gelt (often chocolate “gold” coins) on Chanukah, the Chinese give children little red envelopes of cash on Chinese New Year.  Food, of course, takes center stage during the holiday with classics such as fish, noodles, spring rolls, dumplings, seafood, tangerines, exotic fruits, etc. (all symbolizing good luck and prosperity, of course).

In addition, there’s lots of pre-holiday prep that goes on weeks beforehand.  Growing up, I remember my mother cleaning out the entire house, cars, refrigerator, etc.–all in preparation for a “clean slate” for the upcoming year.  There would also be new clothes for every one, new haircuts, issues and conflicts resolved,  etc.–all before New Year’s Day (which would vary from year to year per the lunar calendar).

All this talk about the holiday makes me think about how I’d like to pass tradition down to my children one day as “[c]ultures grow on the vines of tradition” (Jonah Goldberg).

Illustrator Credit

citybythebay

One of the projects on my to-do list this year is to write a children’s book.  My dream would be to have the very talented Elisa Kleven be the illustrator as I am a huge fan of her work.  I discovered her through the beautifully illustrated book, The City by the Bay  (which makes a wonderful gift, by the way).

Kleven’s illustrations have been the inspiration of many of my children’s poems and short stories (hence, the accompanying illustrations).  Because of this, I hope you enjoy her drawings and paintings as much as I do.