It's hard to convey to those of you that have never been in China at this time of year just what a big deal Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is. It's like Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one, a time when everything shuts down and everyone goes home to be with their family. It’s a time of tradition and celebration, a time to eat way too much and have as much fun as possible.
Obviously our nannies will keep working in shifts over the holiday, so the kids will continue to be well-cared-for, but the office shuts down for a week and the holiday is eagerly anticipated by everyone. Just before the holiday starts, we hold our annual ‘jiaozi party’ extravaganza. You may have already seen the photographs of the kids in the foster home making dumplings (jiaozi), and all the children living with foster families in the village also come to New Day to join in the fun.
Once the dumplings are cooked, we all sit down together to eat. Not all in one room, as it would be a little too crowded. Little ones in the playroom, bigger kids in the Preschool, and foster family kids in the dining hall. There are more dumplings than anyone can eat (apparently Mark ate 6, and they are pretty big!), and plenty of other dishes as well.
When everyone has eaten their fill, the performances begin. This is after lunch, so it's nap-time for most of the kids, and it's all about the nannies, staff and volunteers having fun. This year though, the show was opened by someone very special...First on stage - Zoe!
She was a very tough act to follow! Yes, we have video footage, and will share it soon.
There were dance performances...
...and more dancing. Our nannies really love to dance!
There were contests, and prizes...
...and a wonderful time was had by all. The New Year celebrations are all about family, and here at New Day we truly are one big family. Xīnnián kuàilè - Happy New Year!