Sunday, February 18, 2007

The above calligraphy, called 'chun lian' (Spring couplet) is a popular decoration that the Chinese often display during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. It is placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat like Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Word-for-word translation:
Top (Horizontal across): Whole Earth Returns Spring
Left (Vertical) line: winter gone mountain clear water sparkles
Right (Vertical) line: Spring comes bird sings flower fragrant

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade. 2007 is the year of the Pig.

February 18, 2007 - The first day of the Lunar New Year is “the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth”. Many people abstain from meat on the first day of the new year because it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.

To help the twins (and Mom and Dad) celebrate Chinese New Year, I (Mimi)recently sent them a package with a large dragon to play with -- see the girls enjoying it below.