We finally got to our Chinese New Year party (sorry to those who couldn’t make it), so here, at last, is the final version of Xiao Long, the “little dragon”! (Ok, the professional dragons have smaller heads and longer bodies, so our dragon looks closer to the size and width of the lion dancing costumes, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.)
That’s Empress in front, twirling the pearl/sun ball the dragon is supposed to be chasing. Daddy is keeping the tail, held by Crash (in black and gold), from hitting the TV or cleaning the mantle. Gamely holding the head (on short notice) is Empress’s godfather, followed by his daughter, also adopted from China (the blue legs). That’s Grandma in the foreground, on the drum. (Lacking permits for firecrackers, we use bubble wrap. If you twist a roll of the small stuff, it sounds remarkably like firecrackers. Less smoke, too.)
We ate, watched dizzy and blindfolded kids try to stick flowers on Kai-Lan’s hair, danced the dragon, popped bubble wrap, danced with ribbons, made New Year’s prints, handed out lucky red envelopes (I put chocolate coins and Chinese-themed pencils in ours), and a good time was had by all.
A huge excuse for a party, food, and tons of noise. Always a good idea as winter grinds on, even though it is called Spring Festival in China (which I think is sheer wishful thinking; the weather is nowhere near spring-like, except maybe in the more tropical southern coast).
Wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year, peace, prosperity, family togetherness, etc. etc. in the year of the tiger!
In the midst of the festivities, on a more somber note, please remember to pray for the people of China, especially persecuted Catholics and other Christians (inside and outside of the “official” state churches), women forced into abortions or sterilizations by the One Child Policy, and all the tens of thousands of birthmoms who hope their daughters made it to a good future, but will never know in this life.