(Click on any photo to view a larger image.)
The Christmas and New Year's celebrations have come and gone but at the Dorchester Senior Citizens Center we're still in the holiday spirit. With our sizable Asian contingent of members, we always make sure to celebrate the Lunar New Year. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and the official start is January 28 but we're wasting no time in crafting some decorations to get our celebrations off to a beautiful start.
No Asian celebration is complete without lanterns so for this project we created a faux lantern adorned with an ornate rooster on one side and the corresponding Chinese symbol on the other. I took pains to use culturally traditional and appropriate colors and to make sure that no one assembled the kanji symbol incorrectly or inadvertently placed upside down. (Of course my Asian ladies knew the proper orientation.) I was complimented on the accuracy of the symbol by my Chinese crafters who painstakingly placed every stroke in its proper place. Everyone was a bit disappointed when I told them the lanterns would not be going home with them until the end of the month as they were created to decorate the center but they all proudly handed them to me so they could be displayed. As you can see from the photos, the Asians weren't the only ones who enjoyed creating the lanterns. One of my crafty ladies learned to create a beaded rooster to celebrate the New Year and she gave it to me. I absolutely love it.
I learned another cultural tidbit. Some of my crafters are Russian. They told me that January 6, traditionally known in the United States as Epiphany or Three Kings Day, is the day they celebrate as Christmas and there was Christmas music playing in the background as we made our lanterns. As a Latina, I know that Latin Americans celebrate El Día de Los Reyes Mago (Day of The Magi or Three King's Day) as well. Gotta love all this cultural diversity.
While the major holidays may be over, there's still plenty to celebrate in the weeks and months ahead. There are hearts on the horizon. Valentine's Day soon come.
Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva