Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lunar New Year 2013

We've decided as a family to begin celebrating Seollal, the Lunar New Year holiday.  Although we will put our own twist on the celebration, we will at least be able to expose Eli to some of his cultural roots this way. For this year, we will simply enjoy a special Korean meal, light a few sparklers in the cul-de-sac, and hang out together as a family.

Eli's school is also including the Lunar New Year as one of their focus topics this month. Since the holiday happens on Sunday (the 10th), Eli's teachers have designated Friday as the day that they will talk about the holiday. I decided to have Eli help me create Seollal goodie bags for his class, and we've just finished them.

Here's what we included in each bag:

A child-size pair of painted chopsticks (they came in 5 different designs):

A "Red Envelope" - this is usually given to children on New Year's and usually holds money (although these have candy coins inside) - this one has a snake on the front, since it will be the Year of the Snake:

The candy coins that we put inside the "Red Envelope".
And for a sweet treat, a pineapple-filled shortbread cookie - oddly, this one was on the Korean aisle of the international market, but the writing on the package is Chinese:
We topped off each bag with a little ribbon:

I really hope the kids will enjoy the small treat.  Mrs. Lee even said that the kids were going to get to try out their new chopsticks at lunch: she's making noodles!

Eli was a big help doing the goodie bags, too. He put two coins in each envelope, put the envelopes in the bag, then put in the cookies and chopsticks.  All I had to do was to tie the bags closed and curl the ends of the ribbon!  He was so funny with the coins - I worked with him on the first few bags, making him count the number of coins each time, while still allowing him to do the work. But, for the last 7 or 8 bags, he suddenly grabbed all of the coins, made two rows of coins on the table, then use his rows to separate them into groups of two.  As a math teacher, I nearly fell out of my chair (a combination of pride and surprise) when he did it. I went to grab the camera, but by the time I had it ready to take a picture, Eli'd already finished putting the coins in the envelopes!

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