Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year or sometimes called the Lunar New Year. 2008 is the year of the Rat.
My wife, who teaches middle school in Palo Alto, and I were in San Francisco this past weekend. We ended up in Chinatown on a mission. We were looking for the popular red envelopes that are usually given out during the various Chinese new year celebrations. Traditionally, the red packets are handed out to children with money inside (usually $8.00). She wanted to give each of her students a red packet with a coupon inside that allowed each student to turn in one homework assignment late.
We started looking for the red packets at several of the Chinatown banks. However, they all had run out. Fortunately, we found a vendor at the street fair and were able to purchase over 100. This morning my wife distributed them to the kids. She thinks they liked them, but she isn’t sure they liked them for the cultural significance or because they can be late on a homework assignment. Either which way, she thinks the kids learned a little something about Chinese culture and history.
Gung hay fat choy!