Today we froze our various sized butts off whilst attending the Temple Fair for Chinese New Year that the City Council helped organise. It was really great – so many beautiful music and dance performances, including the infamous Dragon Dance. We arrived just a bit late but did catch The Dragon and The Red Sun performance, which was really fun to watch. L was mesmerized and delighted to FINALLY see the Dancing Dragon she was promised a week ago.
The Dragon was beautiful, all feathered and sequined and beautiful bright colours and intricate patterns of Reds and Golds. As the Dragon Danced and chased The Red Sun, there was a steady rhythmic beat played on drums which set the pace of the performance and expressed tension, drama and success. L really wanted to touch him, but alas not this time, perhaps next year we will get some photos with the dancers and the dragons after.
After the dance a speech was made by an important Chinese Delegate whose name, I’m afraid to say, totally evades me. I’m sorry! (Feel free to let me know so I can add it here). He spoke of the traditions and the relationship between Nottingham and China and their close friendship.
At this point L was begging us for Ice Cream…I mean it was like -400 outside and she wanted cold stuff to eat? I was dying for a hot chocolate and James could no longer feel his fingers, but she had the ice cream regardless and she was happy once more. So we pottered around the stalls, they had sweet treats and Chinese teas, snacks and hot food as well as information on Ningbo, a major port and industrial hub in east China’s Zhejiang province which lies south of Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay. There were competitions to enter and freebies to be had. We collected a couple of fans and fortune cookies and continued on the games!
L and I both tried the Chopstick Challenge, though I do have some experience, L never has. We have bought some now though to use at home though so she can practice until her heart’s content. A really good complex fine motor work and transferring tray work too.
We also played a kicky bag type game with a bean or rice filled toy with feathers on that the object of the game was to perform “keepy ups” with. My mobility issues prevented me from having any skill at all, despite once being pretty decent at such things, but enough we earned another stamp on our card! The competitor in me wanted them all, but my husband was slowly turning into a popsicle so we watched L play the game for a while as she really enjoyed it before heading back to try our hand at Traditional Chinese Brush Painting.
James and I were really impressed and enjoyed looking at the Chinese Brush Painting artwork on display and just had to have a go. L and I took up places at the table and watched a small demonstration of the basic technique before being handed our own brushes and paint to have a go. I really enjoyed it and think L did too, at least she says she did. We’ll chalk our first family Chinese New Year celebration to a success. Only 7 days until the big day!
Here’s our shared masterpiece. It took a bit of a beating getting home as the paper is very fine and the paper got VERY wet…
Are you doing anything to join in the festivities? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear and see photos!