Chinese New Year Bazaar

13cny 25 20140103 1333758643On January 20, 2013 On a blustery cold January day dozens of families, with children in tow and totaling close to 200, came to the Chinese New Year Bazaar presented by CHF Friends. The party room of Gramercy Park Co-op had been transformed into a festive Chinese home, complete with red lanterns, red couplets, symbolic firecrackers, and iconic fresh flowers. Chief among the flowers were narcissus flowers, peach blossoms, and chrysanthemums. And of course there were oranges – symbols of gold.

The children were intent on learning Chinese characters through paper cuts, and trying hard to learn how to wrap dumplings. Under patient tutelage recalcitrant fingers soon turned nimble and characters and dumplings came flying off the tables. While children learned a traditional Chinese song, the parents were browsing through many choices of propitious sayings, to be written out in Chinese calligraphy in the form of a couplet, trying to decide what would best fit in their own home.

There were of course many delicious traditional New Year foods to be tried. Gourmet chef Linda Tam had prepared many traditional offerings, including arrowroot, lotus root, black fungi, lotus seeds, gingko nuts, lily flowers, etc. A vegetarian dish is a must on New Year’s Day: a sign of respect for the sanctity of life. There were also the celebratory sesame balls, peanut puffs, and dumplings.

Many families who came to this event were new to CHF Friends. So there were many warm greetings and getting-to-know-you conversations going on. Everyone agreed this event was fun and pledged to attend moresimilar events in the future. The afternoon was capped by President Ming Tchou bestowing the traditional hong bao on all children. They left this memorable event with big smiles on their faces.


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