Happy Chinese New Year!

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My Paper Heart

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year celebrating the Year of the Tiger! It’s a huge celebration across asian cultures and for me, it’s all about family and memories of red paper of all sorts. In our house growing up, the festivities were centered around food — an amazing feast filled with dish upon dish of Chinese favorites. It was also all about the red envelopes filled with money when I was a young. These red envelopes are a token of good luck and wealth. I remember being super excited about getting the red envelope from my grandpa every year because his were the best, of course. Lulu is modeling one such red envelope above.
My grandmother on my mom’s side was an avid crafter. She enjoyed the art of paper cutting or “jian zhi” in Chinese (literally translates to “cut paper”). My grandmother passed away when I was a toddler and my mom saved most of her paper cuts. I would remember going through them as a child with my mom, holding up each delicate piece (some super tiny) and wondering how someone could actually make this!
This character above is “Fook”, the Chinese character meaning wealth, used primarily for Chinese New Year. These paper cuts are usually made with thin red paper and the designs are typically Chinese characters with embellishments around or one of the 12 zodiac animals. [via La Vie est Belle]
See more Chinese paper art after the jump!

Artist Yang Yi created a huge paper-cut art in Hejin, north China´s Shanxi Province to welcome in the Year of the Tiger.
Nat Chinesenewyear2010
These are some sampling of Chinese New Year cards and red envelopes that I picked up in Chinatown. I thought the gold ones were cool because typically these envelopes do not stray from being red! The color red ties closely to wealth and good luck in Chinese culture. The envelopes on the right have the Chinese character for our last name, Hsu (Zee is the Shanghai pronunciation) printed on them. My mom got those for all of us in the family. I’m looking forward to celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday and carrying on these new year traditions with my daughter Chloe.
Kids Chinese New Year Crafts:
Tiger Paper Cut Craft
Kids can join in on the fun and make this Year of the Tiger paper cut from Activity Village.
Lucky Money Envelope 3
You can also print out and fold these lucky money envelope templates. There are lots of cute designs!
Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? If so, tell me what your family traditions are and if you make any crafts for the big day?

10 thoughts on “Happy Chinese New Year!

  1. Bonney says:

    Natalie, these are beyond impressive! I’m truly in awe. Can you tell us what kind of dog you have? What a cutie!

  2. Natalie Zee Drieu says:

    Thank you! Lulu is a pomeranian.

  3. Jennifer Ladd says:

    Very cool! My family celebrates Tet (since my daughter is from Vietnam). We made paper lanterns this week to hang around the house. And we just finished our family Tet party!

  4. MissMonkeysMommy says:

    Happy Chinese New Year! I also remember when I was a young kid collecting red envelopes from everyone, now as a mom, I’m excited about giving the red envelope to our daughter, Madison. I love Chinese New Year and all the amazing food around it, my mom would buy these beautiful flowers (she still does this) from Chinatown and the house would just be a sea of red & gold.
    Thanks for posting the link for the kids crafts, how fun!!! We’ll definitely give it a try tomorrow.

  5. AnneTang says:

    Your pomeranian is so charming and delightful!

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