Monday, January 14, 2008

NJ Chinese New Year Events

Just a sampling:
  1. (yes, this one is in NYC, the rest really are in NJ) Museum of Chinese in America, Preparing for the Lunar New Year in Chinatown Walking Tours:
    Sat, Jan 26 from 1pm – 2:30pm
    Sat, Feb 2 from 1pm – 2:30pm
    Sat, Feb 9 from 1pm – 2:30pm
    Witness how Chinatown transforms itself in preparation for the Lunar New Year. Learn about the traditions and customs observed by Chinese households and discover the significance of red envelopes, foods and decorations. Enjoy the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Chinatown in the most festive tour of the year!
    Where: Tours begin at MOCA @ 70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor
    Fee: $12/Adult; $10 Student and Senior; $6/MOCA members; free/Children
    5 and under. Advanced reservations required. Call (212) 619-4785 or email Please include the number and name of guests; date of tour; and contact phone number.
    Museum of Chinese in America, 70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013
    T: 212.619.4785 x101, F: 212.619.4720,

  2. Chinese New Year Gala, Hua Xia Plainsboro Chinese School. Saturday, January 19, 2008, 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, Grover Mill Road, Plainsboro 609-468-4650

    Full stage production features musicians, magicians, martial artists, singers, and dancers. Yang Yi performs on the guzheng, a 21-string zither. Zhao Changiun demonstrates martial arts. Li Xin, a Beijing opera artist, portrays the Monkey King. Wennie Niu and Siu Chin perform Broadway tunes and opera. The Lion Dance opens the show. $10 to $30.
  3. Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library, and the Chinese-American Community present A Chinese New Year Community present A Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday, February 2, 2008, 1:30 - 3:30. This drop-in program includes: Folk Dance, Folk Songs, Face Painting, ice Game, Farmers Hat, Calligraphy, Origami, Brush Holder's, Crafts and more.
  4. Celebrate the Chinese New Year, “The Year of the Rat,” with a program of traditional and contemporary music and dance Feb. 8, 2009 by New Jersey-based dancer-choreographer Nai-Ni Chen including a 12 course Chinese dinner. For information call 800-650-0246
  5. February 9, 10: New Jersey Performing Arts Center,Victoria Theater,Chinese New Year Celebration: The Year of the Rat, Newark, NJ, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

  6. February 24,Cumberland County College, Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine & Performing Arts Center, Vineland, NJ, Cumberland County College.
  7. (Event in Chinese?) The Chinese community in Livingston, New Jersey is warming up as the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches. In order to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, the Year of Dog, as well as thousands of years of culture and history, the Livingston Chinese Culture Day (LCCD) 2008 will be held on Saturday, February ?, 2008 from 4 pm to 11 pm at Livingston High School. The event is open to all who are interested. Tickets are on sale now. Please contact Xiuxian Li (973)758-1989, Rebacca Sheng (973) 535- 1452, or Jame Lee (973)535-1139 for ticket information. (OK, this confuses me, the zodiac goes dog... pig... and the cycle starts again this year with rat.)

Sources included:'s great list of events, thanks Ray! (For events in the rest of the USA & the world, go to his list of Events, Parades & Festivals, and see if I missed anything!)

Events in Chinese from Sino Monthly

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stuff for New Year's

Chris noticed this hong bao lantern kit was on sale from a catalog we trust. Of course, shipping & handling would be more than the current price for the kit! For those in the USA, $9 would get you:
  • 90 envelopes ( enough to make three different ornaments, with 15 envelopes left over for secrets, poems, notes, or the traditional coins or dollars)
  • 1 yard of cord
  • 3 tassels
  • 300 adhesive stickers
  • Detailed, step-by-step, illustrated instructions for making the three ornaments.
hmmm... HearthSong also has their "zoo stick" attached chopsticks on sale. We finally broke one after at least 4 years of regular use - for Montessori-style pick up work as well as eating & many, many cycles through the dishwasher, which is probably not the best way to make them last.

Be careful what you are buying - Year of the Pig items should be on sale since you'd have to hold on to them for 11 years - but I noticed they are regular price at Oriental Trading still. I vote their Chinese Shirt Gift Bags the cutest, and their Design Your Own! Chinese New Year Dragon Accordion Cards "most likely for me to buy" of the Chinese New Year items. If I had a regular classroom, I would be tempted by their "Dragon Bulletin Board Puzzle". If you search for "Chinese" instead of "Chinese New Year", you might be as surprised as I was to see brush sets listed. I can't tell what quality or how long to expect them to last.

Of course, you will find higher quality things at China Sprout's Chinese New Year Page and lots of interesting things in your local Chinatown, or on Pearl River's Chinese New Year's page.

My friend Betsy usually reminds me that now, a few weeks beforehand, it the time to go to Chinatown to get new couplets and door guards for the coming year.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Year of the Rat sneakers?

Nike and Reebok have Year of the Rat sneakers. I will admit it still seems strange to me. Nike has a "Year of the Rat" hoodie too, that does not strike me quite as odd somehow.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ready for the Rat?

The Year of the Rat begins Thursday, February 7th, 2008 (lunar 1/1)

If you are hosting a party, going into the schools, or planning on getting new red clothes, you may want to really start thinking about it.

12/20 lunar (January 29?, 2008) should be set aside for the annual housecleaning and 3 days later on February 1st, the kitchen god will be going up to report. You can (and perhaps should) get your hair cut now or then - but not during the first two weeks of the New Year. Most of the year, my lunar calendar is beautiful, but now I need to refer to it (Email me for one).

February 21st ‘should’ find you preparing for the Lantern festival, which begins on the 15th night, which is 2/22 this year.

The two week period of Chinese New Year includes Valentine’s Day this year, so there will be lots of red around. However, if you plan on ‘teaching’ the holiday or going into the schools, keep in mind that is often a big event for them, and not every teacher can support two or three parties in two weeks!

Childbook lists over 100 CNY events!'s list of Chinese New Year Events across the US and Canada for 2008 now has more tahn 100 events. Locations for events range from a Joss House in Evanton, Wyoming to the largest Chinese New Year Parade parade in San Francisco to Washington DC to New York City. Celebrations range from dances to performances to parades.

Chinese New Year Information on includes recommended the calendar of events, recommended books (many of which you can buy from them) and a reference back to this blog!

Full disclosure: I am a satisfied customer, but have no business relationship with them.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

CNY graphics online

I got this from, CNY graphics

My concern with all the free graphics out there is that I can't know what other graphics they offer, no one I can go through all of them, so use your own discretion before having your little ones troll the site!

"January Moon Names"

Keith's Moon Page has a list of Full Moon Names that include: Native American, Chinese, New Guinean Colonial American, English Medieval and Neo-Pagan. Sadly, he lists the full moon names by months, when we know most of the cultures did not date them that way. The Crystal Forest monthly moon name suffers from the same dating problem. I still love to see all of the different names together.

Both sites list the "Chinese Name" for the January moon as: Holiday Moon

English Medieval: Wolf Moon
Celtic: Quite Moon
New Guinea: Rainbow Fish Moon
Colonial American: Winter Moon
Native American (Cherokee): Cold Moon
Native American (Choctaw): Cooking Moon
Native American (Dakotah Sioux): Moon of the Terrible
Neo Pagan: Ice Moon
Hindu: Paush Poornima
unknown: Moon After Yule

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Anime New Year's Greetings

Japan has celebrated the New Year on 1/1 for many years now - but they often have references to the upcoming Chinese zodiac year at the same time.

I am loving manga illustrator Kenjirou Hata's greetings for the New Year. I found it a little way down on Anime News Networks' New Year's Greetings. "(In the third picture, the caption pointing to Nagi's hair says, "There's rats inside.")" It may move around a bit as other greetings are added to the same page - there were 21 when I just looked.