Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy New Year

This past week was Chinese/Vietnamese New Year. The year 2011 is the year of the rabbit. According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail.

To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

This year we spent it celebrating at my mom's house. Our family tradition starts by enjoying a big meal together, gathered around the table and catching up with each other. This year was the first one where my daughter and my nephew were able to actively participate in the festivities at least for a little while. They were also big enough to dress in the traditional Vietnamese dress, ao dai.

"In Viet Nam, the ao dai is the traditional dress for women. Developed from Chinese court clothing in the 1930s, this style of clothing went out of fashion in the north in 1954 and in the south in 1975. Recently, however, it has made a comeback and is regaining popularity in the south among schoolgirls and office workers, and is being worn at formal functions. An indication of social standing, the ao dai is worn by women who work as shop assistants or who have a higher social status, while manual workers typically wear a loose top and baggy pants called an ao ba ba." To read more information on the history of the ao dai click here.

After lunch the fun begins. From the moment you come into this world the little red envelops are always something the kids look forward to. For them, it's just another way to get a little extra spending money.
The basic idea behind the red envelops are about giving luck to the other person for the new year. It was a really long day, Izzy was busy running around in her hot pink ao dai with matching purse and squeaker shoes. My nephew had his own version on. The two of them looked like miniature cake toppers running around playing.

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