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Friday, January 27, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's the Lunar New Year!


Tomorrow, January 28, is the lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year in the United States. In China, the lunar New Year, also ushers in spring and thus is the Spring Festival, too. To learn more about the New Year, click here.

Each year is also associated with a particular animal from the Chinese zodiac. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster--the "Fire Rooster" to be exact!

In our children's collection we have quite a number of items on the Chinese New Year including a poetry picture book, My Chinatown: One Year in Poems by Kam Mak [JP MAK]. The year in Chinatown starts off with a New Year's poem titled "Winter," which is fitting for the book, since the author is from New York, and we all know it's still winter here in the northeast! Here's how it begins:
Winter

Back home in Hong Kong,
it's New Year.
Papa says we'll have New Year here,
in America, in Chinatown.
Mama says it will be just like home.

But it isn't home,
even when the firecrackers
hiss and crackle all night long
to scare off every evil spirit in the world.
In the morning, I go out alone
to kick through drifts of red paper.
Somewhere there will be one whole firecracker
hidden, waiting for me.

But I can't find one,
even though the air dances
with scraps of red,
a snowfall the color of luck.
It must be someone else's luck this year.
Not mine.

Don't you love the line, "a snowfall the color of luck"? Here's wishing you a snowfall of luck in the coming year!

Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink is hosting the Round-Up this year. Stop by and wish her a Happy New Year!



14 comments:

  1. Diane, I have been so under the weather that I forgot the Chinese New Year is upon us. I remember some special nights in Chinatown celebrating the new year. The poem speaks volumes to me of these memories. The noise, the action in the street, the festivity and joy are always present at this celebration in NYC. I just realized that this year we are eating at an Italian restaurant because we are forgot it it Chinese New Year on Saturday night. Thanks for bringing back memories with your post.

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    1. I've never been to a Chinese New Year celebration in the city, but we have an every-other-year one here at the Library with a dragon dancer, Chinese stringed instruments, and more. Not this year, though.

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    2. That sounds like a wonderful celebration for everyone to see. I do love Chinese New Year with all of the red flowing.

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  2. Lunar New Year is a huge celebration here - we have a very large Chinese population, as well as sizeable Korean and Vietnamese communities, so there are lots of exciting different ways to celebrate the new year! :-)

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    1. How exciting to have something noisy and bright to look forward to in the winter!

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  3. Thank you for sharing a new book to check out. I wish you to find much luck through this new year!

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    1. It's not new, since it was published in 2002, but if your library doesn't have it, you should be able to ILL it.

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  4. I love the idea of hunting the one unused firecracker. It made me really see the drifts of red paper. Looks like a great book. Thanks for the remind of the Chinese New Year!

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    1. Looking for a firecracker could be dangerous, but I can see kids enjoying the hunt.

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  5. I need to go to my library to see what I can find to read to the grand-girls about this. The poem shows a beautiful memory. I didn't know about looking for a firecracker. Thanks, Diane.

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    1. It's quite a beautifully illustrated book, besides being a book of poems.

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  6. Oh yes that line is perfect! Thanks for sharing, and a joyous start to the lunar year to you.

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  7. Love the bright, firecrackly cheeriness of this post. The picture of the fire roosters is wonderful as is the poem. Happy celebrating!

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  8. What a beautiful rooster illustration!

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