Today we're celebrating, alongside our families, the Chinese New Year! As we usher in the year of rat, we asked some of our dads how they honor this special time, what they do to celebrate, and how they're instilling these traditions in their kids. Here are some of their responses.
Dads Kirk and Simon, Vancouver, Canada
"Chinese New Year for us is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends... but really it's about the food! We are fortunate to live in a city rich in Chinese cuisine . After the parade in Chinatown, we'll do some exploring and then dig into our favourite bbq and dim sum treats."
Dads Nic and Tim, Brisbane, Australia
"We celebrate Chinese New Year because it's a huge part of our Peranakan heritage, and the most important time of the year for our family to come together and pass on traditions to the next generation.
We celebrate the new year over two days with lots of visits among relatives and friends, red packets (or "Hong Bao"s) containing lucky money for the kids, new clothes, and a huge meal for the family (the "Reunion Dinner"). The Southeast Asian version of Chinese New Year includes a special dish for our meal called "Lou Hei" (also called "Yu Sheng"). Basically it's a salad that everyone in the family tosses up into the air (the higher the more wealth and blessings will be for the new year). And while you're tossing up the ingredients, everyone rings in the new year by saying their own auspicious wishes for the family."
Dads James and Ned, Washington, D.C.
"We celebrate Chinese New Year to honor James' Chinese heritage. His parents immigrated to the US from Hong Kong before he was born.
We will celebrate by going to the Kennedy Center's Chinese New Year Family Day and Winter Lanterns festival with our one-year-old son Aiden, and then to dim sum."
Dads Casey and David, South Orange, New Jersey
"I remember always looking forward to Chinese New Year as a child - not just for the food but also for the red envelopes filled with money! As I got older the amount slowly got bigger. It was an exciting tradition we have now started with our son. We plan to visit the Asian market to stock up on food and decorations. We also have a number of books we can read about the holiday.
A few years ago we visited Taiwan and participated in the lantern festival - lifting our hopes and prayers to the sky... a magical moment we will always remember."
Dads Miles and Kenny, Sierra Madre, California
"Kenny (Baba) grew up celebrating Chinese New Year, and Miles (Daddy) just is happy to enjoy the dim sum. We will be going with grandparents to see the lion dance. It scared him last year, but we are hoping he will be more excited this year!"