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Chinese New Year Evening

The Chinese New Year begins at the new moon that falls between 21 January and 20 February and this year it started on 1st February. We were a bit early celebrating it, having our evening on 27th January.

This year is the Year of the Tiger, as shown on the card Chris Hyett sent. According to the Chinese Zodiac, each person is represented by an animal and Sara went through the positive and negative characteristics associated with each of the 12 animals so people born in the year of each animal could decide if they had those qualities

Chris is a tiger and we agree that she is kind, adventurous and enthusiastic but not at all aggressive, short-tempered and anxious.

We also celebrated having out own TG tigers, the TiG Tiggers. Marilyn Tomlinson designed the picture of Tigger which they use and had it on a Chinese New Year picture as her Zoom background. If you’d like to find out about digital art, Marilyn runs Digital Doodler on the 2nd Monday every month and if you would like to find out about using a background with Zoom, get in touch with Sara about coming along to White Board Wednesday.

The colour red is widely used for decoration, as well as lanterns and dragons. Beryl shared some craft ideas, with a way to make lantern out of paper cups, a concertina paper dragon and red envelopes, which she had found on the internet. Red envelopes with money inside are usually given by adults to children and it’s believed the packet will ward off evil and grant a long life. Get in touch with Beryl if you would like to find out more about these.

She also introduced us to the 12-foot long crochet dragon she had made using dragon scale stich, also known as mermaid scale or crocodile stitch. Beryl has links to tutorials showing you how to do this, if you want to give it a try.

It had been quite a quiet event up until then, when Marilyn Lawton shared her memories of being in Penang at Chinese New Year and watching Chinese dragons, blessing the hotel in which she was staying. Dancers manipulate the dragon using poles positioned underneath it, dancing to a loud accompaniment of drums and Chinese cymbals and, very often, firecracker fireworks.

Meg showed us a lantern which she had made from a red envelope and shared memories of her grandson in his dragon outfit him being given oranges. The Chinese word for mandarin oranges sounds similar to the word for “gold.” So, having mandarin oranges around the home at New Year is said to bring riches into your life.

Penny and Marilyn Tomlinson also shared memories about Chinese New Year celebrations in London and Liverpool. Penny explained that at Chinese restaurants they often served delicacies such as chicken feet. The evening ended with a further reference to feet, this time a song by Mud, Tiger Feet.

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