Happy Year of the Red Monkey!

2016 is the year of the Monkey, or Red Monkey, and marks the 4,713th Chinese Year, which has been traditionally measured by Chinese lunar-solar calendar. Traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities, ancestors and to gather family together for a feast, it is sometimes referred to as Spring Festival.

Go Au Pair strives to educate local families about the cultural opportunities in our local areas, and Chinese New Year is no different. While our Go Au Pair Boston has several Chinese Au Pairs who will celebrate, our RI group has yet to host one! Let’s go, RI! I know we have some families interested in bringing some Chinese culture into their homes, so why not register today and host an Au Pair from China? Consider Miao, who is already in CO and ready to interview with you and start later this spring!

How can local families celebrate Chinese New Year in RI, CT and MA? While there were some activities this past weekend, like Saturday’s Lunarfest in the Yale/New Haven area, there are still plenty to take place over the next couple of weeks!  No matter your state, there is likely a cultural event near you, so check out this article I found.

Still to come, in very nearby Salem, MA, the Peabody Essex Museum is hosting the Lunar New Year Weekend Festival from 10am-4pm, at their East India Square location. This is a great opportunity for kids and families alike, with a traditional Lion Dance. Yin Yu Tang is $5 extra, but worth every penny to see an authentic 200 year old Chinese home reassembled and featuring Chinese art, culture and architecture.  Admission is $15 for adults; children 16 and under are free. This is a nice indoor venue in the cold winter weather we are experiencing right now, too.

Bryant University is Rhode Island’s host of the U.S.-China Institute,  our Confucius Institute, who offers K-12  Chinese Programs, Community Language Classes, Chinese Proficiency Test Services, Chinese Summer Camp, China Study Trips and more! They have invited the public to attend their celebration of Chinese New Year later this month (click here for flyer). On February 27th at 2pm (doors open at 1:30pm), the general public is invited, free of charge, to the Bryant University Chace Wellness and Athletic Center Main Gym. There will be martial arts demonstrations, magic shows, acrobatics, raffles and more! Free cultural performances! Yes, that’s right! Please share and tell your friends!

Whatever you do, discuss Chinese New Year with your family, your kids, and maybe even do some fun crafts at home to celebrate, since it is snowing pretty good outside and school is canceled, again! Contact me, Joan Lowell, your RI area LAR, at jlowell@goaupair.com or 401.309.1925.

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