Friday, February 26, 2010

The Lantern Festival 元宵节 (yuan xiao jie)

The 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar (正月十五) is a full moon called “元宵节”yuan xiao jie, also known as the “Lantern Festival” because of the old practice of having colourful lantern displays, dating back to the Tang dynasty. Some people would play an old Chinese game “猜灯谜” where riddles or questions pertaining to Chinese words, phrases or historical personalities are pasted on the lanterns. It reveals how knowledgeable you are to solve those riddles & questions. And because the full moon is associated with romance & matrimony, “元宵节”yuan xiao jie also has a special significance for those in love. Some also named “元宵节”yuan xiao jie  to be the “Oriental Valentine’s Day” (东方情人节).

What is Chinese New Year?

In Singapore, the Chinese or Lunar New Year is also known as “春节” Chun Jie, literally meaning “Spring Festival”. It started on the 1st day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar (正月初一)

“春节” Chun Jie symbolizes the beginning of the year, another fresh start to growth & vitality in the world of nature, and heralds fresh hopes for happiness & prosperity.

Traditionally, “春节” Chun Jie is celebrated over a period of 15 days, from the 1st day of the 1st month to the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar.

How to make a Fish using One Red Packet

I've found this short and clear video that demonstrate how you can cut a fish using only 1 red packet (Ang Pow)
This Ang Pow fish is simple and easy to make that you can teach your kid to do. When your kids have collected their Ang Pows and saved the money, you can get them to recycle those red packets to decorate your house, by doing this simple handicraft.

What you need is just one red packet, a scissors, and a stapler. You can get a marker to draw the eyes of the fish. 

A gentle reminder to your kid to be careful when they are handling with scissors.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese New Year Lantern - Another folding method for flower ball

This is further to my video on "How to Make A Flower Ball Chinese New Year Lantern" and my previous post on "How to fold a Spherical Flower Ball Chinese New Year lantern".

Sometimes you might not get red packets that have patterns printed on both sides, and the spherical flower ball you made with ordinary red packets did not look as colourful as mine in the picture of my previous post. Here's another method to fold the edges to make your flower ball looks outstanding that gives you a 3-dimensional feel.

See the pictures below, you can fold the edges to form various 5 petals flower ribbons on it.

This is a close up of how I fold the edges. Exercise little patience to fold the edges. You may use double side sticky tape to hold as you fold.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

How to fold a Spherical Flower Ball Chinese New Year Lantern

In my earlier video post on "How to make a Flower Ball Chinese New Year Lantern", some of my visitor might be wondering how to further fold the flower ball to remove spikes to make it a sphere flower ball just like my picture below.

Thus, I upload this post. I sincerely hope you could learn to make one for your loved ones for Chinese New Year to bring more joy to your family.

If you have followed my earlier video on making the flower ball, here's the very simple additional steps.
Just fold in the edges or "spikes" and staple them. My picture below gives you a reference of how I did it.

I would suggest you to use red staplets in your stapler to do this, otherwise it could be quite unsightly to see staplets all over your flower ball lantern.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year Countdown 2010 Fire crackers and Fireworks at Chinatown Singapore

It's Chinese New Year Eve, and we had our reunion dinner. Then, we went to Chinatown, Singapore, where it was holding Chinese New Year Celebration 2010 countdown to Year of Tiger. There were many people. I went up a HDB building and managed to see the firecrackers, the fireworks and the performance stage, and got this video.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chinese New Year lantern - Golden Flower Corolla

This Chinese New Year lantern is made up of 20 red packets / Ang Baos.

I have specially chosen the red packets designed with yellow print. When I combined each red envelope with gold sticky tape and curved folded it, one by one it forms a golden petal.

As I attached the 20 "gold petals" together, it whirls together to form a Golden Flower Corolla.

Gold colour symbolises Royalty and Wealth. When you put up this Golden Flower Corolla Chinese New Year Lantern, your home is immediately filled with elegance & magnanimous.

Here is the link to how it is made, click "A simple Ang Bao Flower Corolla Lantern"

How to make a Chinese New Year Lantern using Red Packets - Flower Ball

Make a Flower Ball Chinese New Year lantern using 30 Red Packets or Ang Pows to decorate our home or office with this step by step instruction guide.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Make a Chinese New Year Lantern – The Lucky 8 using red packets

The Lucky 8 is an easy to make Chinese New Year Lantern using only 14 red packets. Step by step instructions on how to make this Chinese New Lantern to decorate your home or office.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chinese New Year Lantern - The Lucky "8" 幸运发财红包灯笼

The number "8" is considered as a lucky symbol among the Chinese. "8" is pronounced as "ba" in Mandarin, and it sounds similar to “发”pronounced as "fa", meaning "prosperous".

The symbol "8" is rounded, it also signifies “圆圆满满”. It represents continuation, totality and complete success.

Business owners associate "8" to their business continuation to prosperity, wealth and success.

You might have heard some Chinese in Singapore they would cheer "Huat" (meaning “发”in Hokkien ) when they were toasting to celebrate progress for their business.

This is also an easy to make CNY lantern. It's made using only 14 red money envelope. For this lantern, I have chosen to use red envelope with the traditional chinese word “发". It's appropriate and meaningful.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chinese New Year Lantern - Valentine Heart. 心形红包灯笼

Lunar New Year this year 2010 falls on 14 February. It's also Valentine's Day.

This heart-shaped lantern adds Valentine's Day ambience while we are celebrating Chinese New Year.

For this heart-shaped Chinese New Year Lantern, I used 21 pieces of red packets, although the steps in my manual I counted was only 20 pieces.

1. Five pieces of red packet, folded into diamond shape. Staple them to form a 5 petals blossom. Make two sets.
2. The side is made with three pieces of diamond shaped folded red packet. There are 2 sides, you will need six pieces.
3. At the top was four pieces of diamond shaped folded red packets.
4. I used an extra one red packet to stick on the top so that I could hold it with a string for hanging.

It's quite challenging to me to make this heart-shaped lantern. I tried thrice, and only this looks like a heart. The other 2 turned out to look like a red pepper and a strawberry.

You could stick addition flower decoration to the lantern to make it exotic. For me, a simple valentine will do. :)
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Chinese New Year Lantern - Lucky Star 吉星高照

My neighbour praised my Flower Ball Chinese New Year Lantern was very beautiful.
She told me that her kid enjoyed doing handicraft but that flower ball would be too difficult for her 5 years old child.

This is a very simple to make Chinese New Year Lantern. It has the shape of a star. We give it an auspicious name for Chinese New Year called "The Lucky Star".

If the school teacher asks your kid to make a handicraft for this coming Chinese New Year, you can teach your children to do this.

1. You need just 10 Ang Pows (red money envelopes)
2. Fold each red envelope into a diamond shape.
3. Staple 5 diamond shaped red envelopes to form the star, make 2 sets.
4. Combine the 2 sets and you would have a Lucky Star with the front and the back.
5. Add beads and string to make it more interesting and ostentatious (showy/catchy/flashy)

I made a pair for my neighbour's boy. He was so happy when he received them.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Chinese New Year Gift for my Teacher

Chinese New Year is just 2 weeks ahead. Since I've learned to make Flower Ball Chinese New Year lantern this year, I'm going to give this as a Chinese New Year Gift to my teacher.

Ms Gladys Tan is our Tai Chi Class instructor. I always respect and admire her very much.
She is positive and passionate. She is continuously learning and upgrading herself on Tai Chi, and very generously she would share with us her knowledge about Tai Chi

For this lantern, I've added flowers to make it more interesting. Now it doesn't look like a mallet, does it?

I think she would like it. ^v^
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Another Ball shaped Chinese New Year Lantern 红包绣球

This is another flower ball I've made with 30 red money envelopes (or Ang Pow we called it)

I've run out of red envelopes with patterns printed on both sides. This set of red money envelopes has no patterns printed at the back of each.

If I just cross-fold and staple the edges following the flower ball I did earlier, I think it'd look simple, a red ball with yellow round patches.

For this one, I did some triangular fold at the edges. My surprise too, it turns out to look like I have 5 petals flower ribbon sticking on a ball! Well, it looks 3-dimensional to me.

My hubby told me this flower ball looks more like a kind chinese mallet weapon called 槌。Haha, very funny.

I've done a pair. I'm hanging them at the door. Good, a pair of mallets, ward off all the evil bad things away.

Anyway, my neighbour saw them and told me they look beautiful. Yay! Yay! So happy!
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Chinese New Year Lantern - Flower Ball Ornaments 红包彩球

This Chinese New Year lantern is made up of 30 pieces of red packets. It looks like a flower ball ornament.

I just learned this from an instruction book.

A special thing about this lantern is that the 30 red packets, each red money envelope has patterns printed on both sides.

I've specially selected that set of red packets to make this flower ball ornaments so that when I fold in the edges, I can have the patterns from the back side of the red envelope to be shown at the front. And I have a more colourful flower ball 彩球, than a red ball.

Not all red packets have patterns printed on both sides of each red envelope. If you can't get a set with patterns printed on both sides, a suggestion to you is to paste gold tape or any other coloured tapes at the sides of each red money envelope. To stick that, it requires time and effort.

Therefore, you may like to chose and buy the red packets suitable for the Chinese New Year Lanterns that you want to make.

I love browsing Ang Pow red packets with different prints and patterns. Some printed with the picture of the God of Wealth 财神,the chinese character 福 meaning good fortune, blessing and happiness, and "Gong Hey Fatt Choy" 恭喜发财 meaning wishing you prosperity. All the auspicious, happy and encouraging words printed on these red packets can make you so happy!
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