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Chinese New Year Traditions

AWAA Families Reflect on their Holiday Traditions

by Leah Rockey

As last week closed out the Lunar New Year with the Lantern Festival, we heard from several of our America World families who shared how they celebrate these holidays as a family. Two families had the unique perspective of living abroad in Jordan and Japan. You can read below how they celebrated these holidays in a new country and culture. We hope you enjoy hearing from these China program families we have served over the years:

Pilato Family

Pilato Family - Chinese New Year

“Each year, we usually make and order some of our favorite Chinese food and have close friends and family come to celebrate. We decorate our home and enjoy several weeks with our decorations up! Each year is different. Over the years, we’ve made our own dumplings and traveled into NYC to see Kung Fu performances, lion and dragon dances, and drumming. It’s always a fun time celebrating the new year!”

Wilson Family

Wilson Family - Chinese New Year

“One of the biggest blessings in living overseas during the Lunar New Year is celebrating how the local community and/or country celebrates. When we lived in Indonesia, there was a national holiday with many beautiful decorations, good food, and dragon dance shows. This year in Jordan, we had the privilege of attending a Chinese New Year celebration where we assembled the Yee Sang (prosperity salad) for good fortune.

Yee Sang - Chinese New YearEach ingredient of the Yee Sang represented a different wish for the new year ahead:

  • Fish – Abundance every year
  • Pomelo – Good luck and great prosperity
  • Carrot – Good luck approaching
  • Green vegetables – Wishing you eternal youth
  • Seasonings – Let wealth and treasure enter the house.
  • Plum sauce dressing – Make 10,000 times profit with your capital. May life always be sweet. Money and treasure will be plentiful.
  • Peanut crumbs – May your home be filled with lots of gold and silver.
  • Sesame seeds – Wishing you prosperity for the business
  • Deep-fried wonton – May the whole floor be filled with gold.

“We love embracing our Asian community and culture wherever our journey leads us!”

Rohrer Family

Rohrer Family - Chinese New Year

“We enjoy going to our local Asian grocery store during Chinese New Year to pick out a meal to make. Since this year is the year of the rabbit, one of the fun food items our children picked out this year was the rabbit-shaped steam bun filled with custard. Our children said that they were lightly sweet and delicious!”

Sallé Family

Salle Family - Chinese New Year“During the Lunar New Year, we decorate our home with items we purchased in China. Our family will often view photos of Lunar New Year during China’s current Lunar New Year celebration. We print out placemats or coloring sheets with the animal represented by that year, eat Chinese food, and give our children their red envelopes with money.”

Benton Family

Benton Family - Chinese New Year

“We love dumplings, and this year for Chinese New Year, two of our teen boys made dumplings for our meal. (they’re the two little ones in white shirts, front/center in our family photo- 10 years ago ?) From our family to yours- Happy Chinese New Year!”

Wheeless Family

Wheeless Family - Chinese New Year

“We recently experienced Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival for the first time while living in Okinawa, Japan. Since we adopted from China, we have enjoyed learning that Okinawa’s population and culture mix Ryukyu, Chinese, and Japanese. During the Lantern Festival in Okinawa, a Ryukyuan townscape from the 14th and 15th centuries was recreated, and over 3000 lanterns lit up the night. We celebrated this cultural experience with our daughter during the Lunar New Year and right before the official Lantern Festival holiday.” 

A big thank you to all of these China program families who shared their holiday experiences with us! 

Pray for Our Waiting Children and Families

As we reflect on these families who have adopted through our China program over the years, we also remember the many children who, due to covid and the pandemic, continue to wait to be matched or united with their forever families. Will you join us as we pray weekly for our current China program families who continue to wait for the suspension to be lifted and for adoption travel to resume? 

We ask that you continue to pray:

  • that God would continue to move upon the hearts of officials in China
  • that God would open doors and allow adoptions in this country to resume
  • for the protection of children who need time-sensitive medical care
  • for staff in China who continue to care for these children during this extended season of waiting
  • for peace of mind and heart, as well as endurance for each family who patiently waits 

Thank you for joining us in prayer! 



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