Aug 12, 2008 - OF DRAGONS AND HORSES    2 Comments

Christmas Traditions

Filly knew that Christmas was coming and she would be far away from her own Sunset Meadow and the traditions of the horses there.  But she was eager to share what she had always done with her new found friends and to learn of their traditions in return. Only a small part of the Chinese population is Christian, as Christianity is not an officially sanctioned religion in China.  Therefore, Spring Festival becomes a greater holiday than the celebration of Christmas.  Chinese Christians are the main proponents of Christmas.

The Chinese make paper lanterns to decorate their homes. 
Trees are expensive and not often used, but if they are, they are a Tree of Light adorned with paper chains, paper flowers and paper lanterns. These trees are usually artificial.
Friends and relatives give each other red envelopes containing lucky money as a gift for the Chinese New Year.  Although, not to be outdone, if foreigners are celebrating then students and teachers alike will go out of their way to outdo each other with the ‘best, most precious’ gift.  So since you all are out doing your Christmas shopping, I thought I’d enlighten you to what you can expect from your Chinese friends:

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These cork pictures are probably the preferred gift.  You will receive several, so better make room on you wall and shelves for prominence of display.

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Everyone should be so lucky!!  That is why you will receive at least 10-15 of these Buddha statues in every state of the great one’s most enlightened repose.  Especially nice touch, the laughing children playing with the Buddha.

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Make room on your doors and in prominent wall places for your Chinese calligraphy’s.  You will receive many on fragile paper, with wonderful, auspicious poems about travelling to the top of the mountain to see further than at the bottom…kind of akin to our proverb quotes (think can’t understand a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins type stuff).

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The Chinese fan.  All sizes, colors and decor.  Material varies from paper to balsa wood carved.  And the presentation box for the fan is just as important as the fan, so you’ll want to make room for these beautiful keepsakes. There will be silk purses filled with lucky Chinese coins, Fu dogs and Dragons.  There will be no end to items themed around your Chinese Zodiac animal (post cards, stamps, bookmarks, paintings, silks).  Chinese stamps will prove to be a popular item and artsy in their own right.  You will also receive pieces of jade jewelry (rings, bracelets, pendants) that have been infused with the power of Buddha’s blessing. And then there are these:

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Fu (Happiness), Lu (Wealth), and Shou (Longevity) figurines.  You will get a least 3 sets of them, so be prepared to prominently display them within your shelves of gifts alongside the statuary of goddesses, Buddhas and zodiac animals.  The Chinese are big on wishing symbolic prosperity, happiness and health.  Their paintings and calligraphy’s are heaped with symbolism (such as 2 cranes or 5 cranes good, 3 cranes not so good!! Large Sun good, half moon not so good!!) Perhaps the most lovely and yet, the most fragile thing you will receive:

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Chinese paper cuts.  Beautifully designed and yet fragile because they are made solely from a tissue type paper.  They are best stored until proper framing can take place. Filly was overwhelmed by the generous well-wishes of her new found friends, as was her barn stall which was now prosperously decorated and overflowing with well-intentioned gifts.


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