Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival, began last week. It lasts for 15 days, so we read 2 books to celebrate and then had a parade.
Many children’s books that are written in English use Cantonese words to wish people Happiness and Prosperity during New Year celebrations. People from Canton were the first immigrants to this country. They settled in neighborhoods that came to be called Chinatowns in large cities. They published books in English, and used the greeting Gung Hay Fat Chow in these books. Those are the words used in My First Chinese New Year.
People who come to storytimes these days are much more familiar with the Mandarin greeting: Gong Xi Fa Cai, which sounds very similar. When I ask people in storytime how to say Happy New Year, however, the response I get most often is Xin Nien Kuai Le. Whichever greeting you use – we are all looking forward to spring and are wishing each other health, happiness and prosperity.
This is the year of the Goat/Sheep on the Chinese zodiac. During the Dads and Donuts Storytime, and the PJ Storytime last week, I concentrated on Goats. Today I read Sheep in a Jeep, because it is silly, and I love it.
Before we had our New Year parade today, I fit in the book Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! We will be concentrating on Mo Willems’ books at PlaySpace for the next 2 weeks.