Tag Archives: Chinese New Year celebration

Chinese New Year Celebration

3 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI don’t stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, any more, but this year, I received an invitation to attend a Chinese New Year celebration with my friend, Annie, from Beijing, and I was delighted. Her Bible study group has socials just as our church does, but their native language is Chinese and they are like a family here in this challenging country of ours.

I knew red was the color for Chinese New Year and, wanting to be cooperative, I bought a red sweater for the occasion. Inside the house where the party was, though, I was the only one in the twenty-five person group who didn’t leave her shoes at the door. I became slightly embarrassed and told Annie I would take them off. She said no.

“There’s no good reason I can’t do that,” I said.

“The floor’s cold,” Annie answered.

My answer was … “Okay.” You see, I don’t like cold feet any more than anyone else does.

Annie and I chatted, in English (of course) while we waited to get to the potluck dishes. “It’s in my bones to take my shoes off in the house,” she said, “but I don’t insist my daughter and husband do it.” Her husband is American and their daughter is “mixed,” as Annie says.

When you think about the pictures you’ve seen of Chinese New Year, you think of a dragon parade, firecrackers, and chi-paos. I hope I got that right. That means those gorgeous satin dresses with the Mandarin collars and frog closures. One little girl wore a green one to the party and she looked lovely. The women’s Bible study leader wore Chinese style dress as well. I was glad.

The host, a gastroenterologist, asked me if it was all right if they said the blessing in Chinese. My goodness yes! I was amazed that he asked. The food was good. For the fun of it, I tried using chopsticks to lift noodles from a serving bowl. I felt eyes upon me, but there were no giggles. Laughing at a person would not be polite and the Chinese people I know are nobly and graciously polite. That’s something else that’s bred in their bones.

These friends of Annie’s treated me like royalty. I felt it was because of the tradition of respecting their elders, but I’m sure they would have been as kind and attentive to any guest. A steady stream of women took turns coming to chat with me at the table.

When Maddy heard that Annie and I met in art class, she began to tell me about Akiane, a young woman who paints pictures of Heaven. She’s only sixteen years old now, but when she was five she visited Heaven, as the four-year-old Colton did whose story is told in Heaven is Real. It was difficult for Maddy to talk to me in English, but she persevered. She told me about the paintings and about Jesus and Heaven. She got someone’s phone and showed me the paintings and they are indeed incredible.

In olden times, oh say 4712 BC, or so, when the traditions of Chinese New Year first began, folks believed a dragon would come and eat them during that season, if they didn’t frighten it away. By the twelfth century they had fireworks that worked fine for the purpose. Our celebration had no fireworks to scare a dragon away, but we had something better … prayer and a recorded sermon. Everyone sat quietly and listened. The sermon was in Cinese with an English interpretation. Annie thought the sermon a bit long, and I had to agree, but she was impressed with the expertise of the interpreter.

It’s wonderful to meet Christians anywhere and at any time. There’s a common love of Christ and of God’s word that binds us together. What a miracle. We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ and it’s not only satisfying, but it can be a lot of fun as well. “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” (Christian Hymn, “When we all Get to Heaven,” words Emily D. Wilson, tune, Eliza E. Hewitt)

Chinese

Chinese New Year

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