Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse!

We celebrated Chinese New Year with friends and neighbors, it was perfect.  We had dumplings and roast pork with our friends the Josts, and they even provided fireworks!  In China, fireworks are sold in boxes that look like a case of wine.  There is one fuse to set off the entire box - and it's crazy impressive.  The fact that we could watch our own display in the driveway is great.  China does not mess around.


shoots flaming balls
must haves

People in China spend the week off visiting their family, eating traditional food and celebrating with friends.  It is customary to bring food when visiting, often sweets.  Street fairs pop-up right before Chinese New Year and vendors sell anything you might want to bring home.

dried meats
glazed fruits
Since this is the biggest holiday of the year, there are lots of products promotions.  Disney characters on display at Super Brand Mall were a big hit.  Kids waiting in line to take pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy.  Getting the Chinese public ready for everything Disney!

Not sure why, but Crocs are really big here.  Crocs stores are in all the nice malls here.  These are for Chinese New Year.

The girls's school does a yearly show, and it's coordinated by the Mandarin teachers and the music department.  The students all sing in Mandarin and there are traditional Dragon Dancers.  I am always impressed by the theater at the upper school campus.  The lobby of the theater has the student art gallery for the middle and high school.

 Our family stayed in Shanghai during the week off.  Chris went into work a few days, and the girls and I took a much needed break.  We hung out and they both had friends visit and sleep over.  Very low-key.  I think it was really just what we needed.
     Today was the first day back to school, and the normal routine.  Emily's schedule is busy - she is starting rehearsals again for the school musical.  Katie has a healthy cooking class that begins this week after school.  I am returning to my Mandarin classes next week.
     The weather has been very, very cold and windy.  We had our first snow of the season yesterday.  Not enough to coat the grass, but pretty just the same.  The air quality has been very good lately as well.  Everyone is happy and healthy, but we really would love some warm sunny weather!

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