Tuesday, October 24, 2006

United Nations Day 2006

Paul Boutin, a technology writer, has a much less child-friendly view of Chinese New Year. After the link to The San Francisco Chronicle's January article on the Year of the Dog by Frederic Larson, Boutin refers to the filtering/censorship that is required on Google in China.

I know I am wrestling more and more with the question of how much to tell my children about what is happening in the world, and at what age are they ready to see the newspaper and the front page daily.

Steve Whan still has weekly child-friendly China news in his Focus on Culture.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Riddles from other countries

Screaming, soaring / seeking sky
Flowers of fire / flying high
Eastern art / from ancient time
Name me now / and solve this rhyme
The riddle above is by Eric S. Raymond. I learned a lot about Middle English-style riddles from his on Riddle Poems and how to make them ( http://catb.org/~esr/riddle-poems.html) . Maybe you can use it - or see how English and Viking riddle peoems compare and contrast with those by the Chinese used for Lantern Festival. Unless you are working with the originals, of ocurse, you cannot look at the meter and rhyme.
Answer: Fireworks.
from http://catb.org/~esr/riddle-poems.html

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mama Lisa's on Chinese New Year

I have looked at Mama Lisa's Children's songs and nursery rhymes site and Folks Songs archive on and off - usually looking for Girl Scouts. (There are only two songs in her China section of children's songs.)

I had no idea she had seven articles on Chinese New Year as well. I especially liked Greetings and Hand Gestures for the Chinese New Year. Perhaps when I add better graphics to this site I will be less impressed, but the photo was so helpful.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Preparing for the Pig

The Year of the Pig begins Saturday, February 18th, 2007.

This means that 12/20 lunar (Wednesday, February 7, 2007) should be set aside for the annual housecleaning and 3 days later on Saturday, the kitchen god will be going up to report, and that February 28th ‘should’ find you preparing for the Lantern festival, which begins on the 15th night, which is 29th this year. (This two-week period includes Valentine’s Day and if you plan on ‘teaching’ the holiday, you may want to consider that in your plans.)

I may be eyeing those candy pigs that sometimes show up around Christmas to see if they would last.

I like this origami pig for children to try. You can download the directions there.

As we get closer to the date, you should be able to a Chinese calendar for February 2007, at China the Beautiful: February 2007 calendar . It was not ready yet in September 2006. There is a special name for the first day of the new year - but you should be able to see the character for 2 (二), on February 19th, and for 3 (三) on February 20th.

If you would like a one-page 2007 calendar overlaid with the phases of the moon, email me at mus-mandarin@wubison.com and ask for my "lunar calendar".

For more on Chinese calendars see:
China the Beautiful's Introduction to Chinese Calendars
Scotland Online's Chinese New Year page