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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese New Year Gifts’

Not all Chinese dragons are created equal. Actually, there are nine Chinese dragons, not just one. Chinese scholars of ancient times identified a total of nine types of Chinese dragons based on their specialized tasks.  So while you’re doing your last minute shopping for Chinese New Year gifts, you may want to think about the different dragons.

  1. The Heaven Dragon protects the homes of the gods in heaven. This is the ruler of the all the dragons.
  2. The Spirit Dragon has five toes and is known as the imperial dragon. This dragon controls the weather. If you upset him, the weather may get nasty.
  3. The Earth Dragon spreads beautiful spring weather in the heavens and fall in the sea. He also controls rivers. When a river floods, we’ve upset the Earth dragon.
  4. The Underworld Dragon controls gemstones and precious metals. When this dragon reports to the heavens, he creates volcanoes. So next time one erupts, you know he’s reporting to the gods.
  5. The Horned Dragon is the strongest despite being deaf. His head points to the North. His tail points to the South. He also can make it rain.
  6. The Winged Dragon is the only Chinese dragon to have wings. He was the servant of the yellow emperor.
  7. The Coiling Dragon is the water dragon. He lives in deep oceans, lakes, and rivers. 2012 is the year of the Coiling Dragon.
  8. The Yellow Dragon represents the Chinese emperor. He is the dragon of knowledge.  He also doesn’t have horns.
  9. The Dragon King is not one dragon, but four. Each rules of the seas: North, South, East, and West. If you want it to rain, you go to the Dragon King.

Explaining the nine dragons to children can be fun. They might think it’s pretty cool that there are nine magical creatures. It just makes sense to buy dragon inspired Chinese New Year gifts.

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When shopping for kids’ gifts of any kind, we’re in search for something developmentally appropriate as well as fun and educational. This Chinese New Year, gifts are centered around the year of the dragon.  But the dragon hasn’t always been kid friendly, at least not in Western cultures. It’s quite the opposite in Chinese culture, where the dragon is been a something of a hero.

Dragons of the Western Culture
In Western cultures, dragons are portrayed as fire breathing monsters. Fairytale townspeople fear them. Handsome princes slay them. Dragons are villains—the bad guys little boys pretend to slay with their toy swords.  Dragons of the Western culture are scaly, ugly monsters drawn to appear fearsome.  The first dragon images made their appearance in the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until the Medieval Times that dragons took on more sadistic roles in stories, which took place during the Middle Ages.  Now dragons ever made into evil monsters in video games.

Chinese Dragons
Dragons in Chinese culture are revered and loved. They are the givers of life. Their breath is “sheng chi” (divine energy). They represent luck, blessings, abundance, and all things good. Children look up to them and see them as divine heroes—divine sons of heaven. They have magical powers that stop evil and return the world to justice and happiness.Dragon Chinese New Year Giftsd

Choosing out of two, it’s no wonder dragons are celebrated. That is why children’s Chinese New Year gifts can be something representing a dragon of some sort. A dragon kite for instance is a fun, family friendly toy kids enjoy. The dragon is beautifully depicted with rich colors. On a warm, windy day, it’s an ideal outdoor toy. You would probably score some points with the kids with a dragon kite this Chinese New Year.

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Traditional Chinese New Year Rhyme

You’ll find whenever the New Year comes
The Kitchen God will want some plums.
The girls will want some flowers new;
The boys will want firecrackers, too.
A new felt cap will please papa
And a sugar cake for dear mama.

We can’t forget about kids this Chinese New Year. Yes, the adults will have fun mingling, eating, and drinking. But kids need to have fun too. They can join the adults at the table and go to the Chinese New Year parade, but activities planned just for them doesn’t hurt either. Here are some fun ideas to help make this Chinese New Year memorable.

First things first—2012 marks the year of the dragon. This is probably one of the most important years in Chinese New Year Giftsthe Chinese zodiac because the dragon represents luck, wealth, virtue, harmony, and longevity. The dragon is already an integral part of Chinese culture.  That being said, the year of the dragon is a great time to really reinforce lessons of loving your neighbor and being kind, money, and doing things to make the world a better place. Here are some fun ways to help ring in the Chinese New Year.

Toys
You give gifts during the Chinese New Year. Although most Chinese New Year gifts are red envelopes filled with money, kids love toys.  Most people have already started shopping, but in case you haven’t, here are some ideas.

  • Chinese YoYos— A set of 12 will keep your children entertained by Chinese printed paper.  They make great party favors too.
  • Dragon Noise Maker – Children can take part in festivities and ward off evil spirits with this dragon noise maker. In ancient Chinese culture, drums were used to ward off evil spirits.
  • Dragon Kite—Children enjoy this colorful kite, perfect for a fun Spring day.

Parties
Throw a Chinese New Year party for your child and their friends. Make sure to have him or her help you with preparations. It’s a good way to teach some very important lessons.  Plus, your child gets to socialize and have fun with friends.  The first lesson is about love and harmony. Explain to your child that in doing something for others (like planning fun activities during a gathering for others to enjoy), you’re showing your affection and love.

It’s also an opportunity to teach lessons about money since the dragon represents wealth. Buy Chinese red envelopes and have your child count up coins (of any denomination) and to insert inside.

There are other activities like coloring, watching movies, and reading Chinese New Year books. No matter how you celebrate Chinese New Year, taking time to incorporate cultural and life lessons will make this New Year memorable.

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