My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Catching Up: One More Chinese New Year Event 2016_03_12

On March 12th, our Year of the Monkey celebrations finally came to a close with the annual CCACC[1] Chinese New Year Banquet -- ironically at the same restaurant we'd recently had such a negative experience with.

There was a rousing Lion Dance, several raffles, and lots of good food. We did more than watch & eat; like last year, Miri's group was performing the dance that they had recently performed for the public at large at Lakeforest Mall (as seen in this post). They had roughly half the space they needed, but did a fine job with a complex dance in full costume resulting in lots of enthusiastic applause. (I apologize for the lack of performance photos, but they all violated the blog's picture rules.)

After the performance, the girls all changed out of their costumes and the real eating (and singing, and playing of games, and raffle drawings) began in earnest. Since it was a special celebration, most of the girls changed into Chinese dress instead of the usual jeans/shorts and tees.

One nice addition to the event this year was a chance for all the kids to do their own dragon dance through the restaurant with an appropriately kid-sized dragon. After a few minutes to get organized, the mini-dragon, complete with leading giant magic sphere and a comet's tail of assorted kids, marched right out of the banquet area and made the rounds of the entire (very large) restaurant. The procession was a bit of a surprise to the many other patrons, but everyone seemed to have a good time. The kids holding the dragon -- Pipsqueak included -- were especially proud and there were lots of smiles all around.

The banquet began to formally wind down, but there was one more special activity. Since it would be A Bad Idea to set of firecrackers inside the restaurant and there wasn't enough bubble wrap for everyone to jump on (try it -- it sounds just like firecrackers!), the final send-off was a balloon popping contest. All the kids had a balloon tied to one of their ankles and then tried to pop it by stomping -- leading to a higher level of chaos than I think the hosts had anticipated but which had enormous entertainment value for both the kids and everyone watching.

The  calm before the storm -- the kids are still having balloons tied to their
ankles. I was too busy laughing to get good photos of the actual stomping.
And that's how we (finally!) closed out all our Year of the Monkey celebrations!

1 - CCACC is the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center, the group that runs (among many other programs) the Chinese school Miri & many other local adoptive families' kids attend.

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