Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” ~Robin Williams
The daffodil is a symbol of the month of March, when spring begins.
We’re all ready to put the cold and gloomy winter behind us and think about the awakening of a new season. Spring starts with many celebrations around the world.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year festival period lasts for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year’s eve to the Lantern Festival. In 2021, it is from February 11 to February 26th. 2021 is a Year of the Ox according to the Chinese zodiac. Anyone born under this sign is hardworking, intelligent and reliable, rarely losing their temper and is honest. If you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 12009, and of course 2021 you were born in the year of the ox. Your colors are blue, yellow and green with lucky numbers of 1 and 4.
Lighting lanterns is a way for people to pray that they will have smooth futures and express their best wishes for their families. Lantern owners write riddles on paper notes and paste them upon the colorful lanterns. People crowd round to guess the riddles.
- What’s full of holes but still holds water?
- What building has the most stories?
- Which is faster, hot or cold?
- When is your mind like a rumpled bed?
- What is it that everybody does at the same time?
The lion dance is one of the most outstanding traditional folk dances in China. Ancient people regarded the lion as a symbol of bravery and strength, and thought that it could drive away evil and protect people and their livestock. Therefore, lion dances are performed at important events, especially the Lantern Festival, to ward off evil and pray for good fortune and safety.
One food that is eaten is tangyuan is pronounced similarly to tuanyuan (团圆 /twan-ywen/ ‘group round’), which means the whole family gathering together happily, Chinese people believe that the round shape of the balls and their bowls symbolize wholeness and togetherness. Therefore, eating tangyuan on the Lantern Festival is a way for Chinese people to express their best wishes for their family and their future lives. These ball-shaped dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour and are stuffed with different fillings such as white sugar, brown sugar, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, rose petals, bean paste, and jujube paste or a combination of ingredients. They are usually sweet and served in a soup.
HOLI, an Indian Festival
Undoubtedly one of the most colorful festivals in the world, Holi is celebrated by Hindus across Northern India. It involves throwing colored powder at one another, which pays tribute to the many colors of the spring season as well as events from Hindu mythology. Usually lasting a full day and night, the festival is a gloriously colorful and happy celebration of the end of winter and the spring growing season.
In 2021 the celebration takes place on March 28 and 29, the day after the full moon. Participants don’t wear good clothes, as they are thrown away after the celebration! It’s OK to get a little messy while celebrating this holiday in India!
- A special craft for the holiday is to make straw blowing cards. This way you can go crazy blowing the paint everywhere on a card instead of on your clothes and make a mess.
- Take an opportunity to work on those color words with your children.
- Dance to traditional Indian folk music.
- Read a Holi Book
Let’s Celebrate Holi! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series, Book 3)
An Amazon Bestseller, multiple years in a row, this book is a delightful way for kids to learn about Holi!
Go on an adventure with Maya, Neel and their cute little partner, Chintu the squirrel, as they learn all about this famous Indian festival of colors including the story behind Holi, the colorful Holi markets, the incredible fun of playing Holi, the delicious Holi food and drinks and even about some unique ways of celebrating throughout the country.
Lantern Riddle Answers: 1. sponge, 2. a library, 3. hot’s faster. You can catch a cold, 4. when it’s not made up, 5. grow older