the lions dance on CNY

We spent Chinese New Year in Las Vegas & enjoyed a ‘taste of home’ at the local CNY Festival where we saw the traditional Lion Dance as the central part of the celebration. The Lion Dance has been part of Chinese culture for the longest time. It’s history goes all the way back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).  The belief is that the Lion will drive away evil spirits at the beginning of the New Year; therefore bringing along a good harvest and prosperity for the whole year. It is common that an honored guest will paint on the Lion’s eyes in a ceremonial way, before the dance, signifying the giving of life to the Lion. – The Lion Dance mostly happens during Chinese New Year, also known as “Spring Festival” in China.  But today, you can also see these dances at an opening of new business because it signifies “good fortune” for the owner.

This first video is the start of the Spring Festival Opening Ceremony in Las Vegas, NV – Feb 2015

This second video is the kids that are training to become excellent Lion Dancers one day.

This third video is the finale of the Spring Festival Opening Ceremony in Las Vegas, NV – Feb 2015

Culture Lessons: Family is viewed as a closely united group of living and dead relatives. Ancestor worship is the belief that deceased family members’ spirits will look after the family, take an interest in the affairs of the world, and possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. “Spring Festival” (Chinese New Year) is a 2 week period, after the Lunar New Year, when millions of people in all of China travel home to their relatives, it truly seems as if all of China is traveling at the same time! They will all gather as a group to offer incense, food & prayers to ancestors and various gods or deities. This is a way of ‘taking care’ of the ancestors who have brought them into the world & provided for the lifestyle they enjoy. The ancestors will in turn, “take care” of the living in the same manner & to the same degree. Only after respect has been paid can one continue with the New Year’s festivities. What will follow, in Chinese tradition, will be the biggest feast of the year, with new activities for each day of the festival.

-JK

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kids in GC

New Year, New States… New Tires?

We have been a bit busy friends.I’m sure you can tell by the lack of postings here. Sorry!!

kids in GC

We all enjoyed exploring the beautiful Grand Canyon in between our Arizona meetings. (Feb. 2015)

Since October we have survived our first Thanksgiving & Christmas as a family of six, 3-4 broken bones with AnnaBelle (more on ‘Brittle Bone Disease’ another day) & officially racked up over 17,000 miles (across 3 states) with all 6 bodies crammed into our amazing (ever faithful) minivan! I’m writing from Las Vegas today & preparing to send out our next NEWSLETTER. We set out on the road from California over 5 weeks ago. We’ve spent 4 weeks in Nevada, taken a week long drive through Arizona, & we’ve been back in LV for almost a week with at least 1 more to go… for a total of 6 weeks, 11 Community meetings & over 7 meetings with individuals – and now I’m wondering if it’s time for new tires!?!?

Below is a fun video we made to thank all of you for your love & support – after you watch it, be sure to click the link & update your email with us. Then watch for our eNews to come very soon!

Newsletter Sign Up

-JK

~ Blooper Reel ~

What day is it?

That should be an easy question, especially for a teacher/mom that checks email & schedules hourly… However, with all the running to & fro, all the subway maps to memorize & time differences to work around when making arrangements for renting our house back in the states… I often manage to lose track of the date! Just last week I almost forgot my own birthday! 😀

All of that to say, I have a growing list of things to tell you all about our adventures, our observations & new discoveries lately… but alas, the time (& even the date) escapes me! I will get to it my friends, but for now, it’s almost 8pm & Daddy is still at prayer while I have only JUST finished today’s school & prep for tomorrow… In other words, no one has cooked dinner yet!

Sending you all love & hugs from ours to yours! If YOU have time… please update us about YOUR ADVENTURES! Shoot us an email, leave a comment below or find us on FB (A great place to see our latest pics & such that only take us moments to share)! We are praying for you all every day, & I promise to get started on that list of stories for you very soon!

Click below to watch our video of the fireworks on CNY.

It was the most amazing thing!

2012 Chinese New Year Fireworks

Here’s some pics I found on the web. It was a lavish display & a glorious sight!

Leave it to the Chinese, they invented the stuff after all!

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Chinese New Year Fireworks

Happy Chinese New Year!

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Chinese New Year Fireworks

Language Lessons:

新年快乐 (sun lein faai lok) = Happy new year! (literally “The new year comes fast!”)
恭喜发财 (gung hei faat choi) = Wishing you a prosperous new year! (literally “May you have much joy and wealth!”)

Culture Tips:

Subway: Be early – No such thing as lines.
Escalators: Slow traffic – Stay right.
Crowds: Walk faster.
Traffic: Look RIGHT – Not left.
Language: “Chaa” can mean ‘Fork’ OR ‘Tea’.
Holidays: Everything open on T-day & Christmas. Everything closed on CNY for 5 days.
Shopping: BYOB = Bring Your Own Bag.