If you didn’t know, on February 8, 2016, it was the beginning of Lunar New Year! This year is the year of the monkey. Every year it rotates according to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Ping taught us about all the animals and much more. Oh, wait, you don’t know who Ping is! Ping is a good friend of Jody and he was very kind to come to our class and to teach about Lunar New Year.
Ping taught us the way he celebrates, but there are many other ways to celebrate too! He started off with the 12 zodiac animals. These animals include: rat, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, ox, pig, dog, rabbit tiger and the dragon! He even had a list to tell us about each animal. Next, he moved on to the days of Lunar New Year. When Lunar New Year starts, everyone turns a year older! The days go on and on and some of the things that happen on these days are family gatherings, dragon dances, festivals, cleaning houses, firecrackers and dinners. Something interesting about lighting firecrackers is that this is done to ward off bad spirits.
On the first day of Lunar New Year, you’re not allowed to sweep or clean because it’s believed you’ll sweep away good luck. After explaining the days, he showed us a video of a dragon performance. It was amazing! So many tricks and leaps! I could tell a lot of preparation was involved. They leapt on each others shoulders and it was hard to believe only 2 people were under the dragon doing moves. It would have taken years to learn and perfect. After the video, Ping showed decorations that are put up for Lunar New Year. I really enjoyed Ping’s presentation and I’m sure everyone else did too! I learned a lot from him and I might try one of these traditions in the future.