Sunday, February 9, 2014

Celebrating Lunar New Year

Saturday afternoon we drove up to The Family Church in Gainesville to celebrate Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year this year fell on Friday January 31; it's a holiday not just celebrated by China, but also Japan, Mongolia, Korea, Tibet and Vietnam. In China where Davis is from, the New Year celebration lasts two weeks!!! 

It was our first time attending an event led by the local chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC). The event was really very well done and it was so much fun to celebrate with other adoptive families. There were lots of dragons and horses around as part of the decorations - dragons because of the New Year celebration and horses because this is the year of the Horse.  And as a special treat, FCC had arranged for horses to be present so that all of the kids could get a chance to ride. All three boys were super excited about this prospect and definitely enjoyed their trips around the yard. 

Inside the foyer of the church were several craft stations setup. The boys made "stained glass" horse heads, cherry blossom tree drawings, horse bracelets and even got some temporary tattoos. 

There was also this great map of China up on the board as well showing the birthplace locations of all the children in the group. Davis wasn't up on the board yet as we are new - he's the only one from the city of Guangzhou but there are eight other children in the group from the same province of Guangdong. 

Inside the sanctuary, tables were set up for dinner with tissue paper flowers, oranges and also chopsticks on every table. We even had a horse themed nameplate to reserve our seats. 

These two horses were made special for this year's celebration and auctioned off later. The two dragon heads were part of the dragon parade that came later. 

The kids got to do a special New Year's dance and then there was musical entertainment and the kids got to sing and help keep the beat with special shakers. At first Davis just wanted to hang out with Wesley but eventually he warmed up and got into the spirit of things running around and climbing on the stairs. He also got some snuggle time with our friend Jami Baugher. 

Next up was a wonderful catered buffet style Chinese meal and then the dragon parades. There were two dragons - the red one for the older kids and the yellow one for the smaller children. There was also a raffle for each age group to determine which child would get the special place of honor inside the dragon head. Davis only stayed under the dragon body for a little bit before crawling out, but his big brothers stayed put in the red one and Wesley did a great job bringing up the rear of the dragon. 

The night finished up with digging into these delicious cakes. 

We had a lot of fun celebrating together and getting to meet other people. There are definitely more little girls from China than boys in this group, but we did get to meet several little boys. In fact the other family that sat at our table with us had a 9 year old son they adopted when he was 2. Ben was super curious about Davis and quickly realized that they shared the same special need - cleft lip and palate.  While talking we figured out we share the same medical team at Shands.  We're looking forward to sharing in more events with the FCC group in the future. 

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