Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Lantern Festival

Every year, the Lunar New Year celebration comes to a festive end with the Chinese Lantern Festival. During this holiday, people hang paper lanterns and eat "yuanxiao" or sticky rice balls filled with sweet sesame paste, red bean, peanuts, or even chocolate! The round shape of these treats symbolizes togetherness and prosperity for the new year. Our school kids celebrated the Lantern Festival last week, and they didn't skip any of the traditions!

To begin the festivities, the teachers hung paper lanterns around the classroom.

Then the students tried their hands at making their very own paper lanterns. They got creative with a variety of colors and patterns.

Here's Qiang with his creations:

But then, the real fun started: the rice balls! Any time our kids get to cook or bake, there's a palpable sense of excitement in the air! First, a demonstration:

Everyone at each table got a bowl of dough and filling...

And soon it was time to start!

Hui tries out a rolling pin method.

It can be a bit of a messy task, with all that flour everywhere, but Shan tries to be careful with it!

Pretty soon, everyone's got the hang of it. Jie's a very efficient rice ball maker.

And Zhong looks like he's having a fabulous time!

Pretty soon, everyone's got a few rice balls to cook up!

Happy Lantern Festival!

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