The Color of Joy

February 19, 2015, marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Goat. If you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or 2015 you were born in a Goat year. According to Chinese astrology you are: calm, gentle, shy, thoughtful, creative, honest and resilient. My daughter, Danielle, was born in 1979; it is interesting that she possesses all the qualities of a person born in a Goat year.

Chinese New Year is the longest holiday in China; instead of going to work, friends and relatives gather, share special foods and celebrate. The Spring Festival, the start of New Year celebrations, includes: parades, firecrackers, dragon and lion dances.

In China, red is the color of joy and prosperity; handmade red banners adorned with beautiful calligraphy decorate homes, businesses and public places; red envelopes called: Lai See are filled with money and given to children, family members and friends to bring good fortune.

You may be wondering why I’m writing a post about the Chinese New Year; when I was working I loved teaching my first graders about countries and their cultures; we are different, yet the same.

Chinese New Year: another holiday that gathers people together to celebrate life and each other.

Take joy!

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  19 comments for “The Color of Joy

  1. Amy
    February 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Love this, Ellen! Thank you for sharing your love of teaching and your joy! Those lovely reds are so appealing in the middle of frozen February!

    I love to study other cultures and agree with you: we are different, yet the same. ❤ Once, in my second grade classroom, we spent a few weeks studying the countries of the world. Each student gave a presentation on the country of his or her choice, including food, music, and so on. One child's family was from northern India. As a part of her presentation, the child's mother came to class and dressed me in a sari. The children and I were enchanted. How I loved the look and feel of those gorgeous, gorgeous silks! Happy memories. xoxo


    • February 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Thank-you Amy! I would have loved to be there in your classroom sharing in the cultural activities with you and your students. How wonderful to be dressed in a sari; your class must have been overjoyed. 🙂


  2. February 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm



  3. February 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    nice post Toby— I could almost see the color red as you were writing — it is so important to celebrate holidays and to instill that recognition into others– keep it up — thanks for the remembrance janie


  4. February 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I live in a very Chinese area – in fact I’m a visible minority in my neighbourhood. All the stores have been decked out in red for a few weeks and some homes have sprouted red banners. It’s a very big deal here … and I’m all for celebrating the fun stuff whether it’s my tradition or not 🙂

    Great selection of red flowers! I’ll just continue to cling to the hope of spring that the posts from other people promise is coming.


    • February 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Your neighborhood sounds like a fun place to live; the beautiful red decorations warming even the coldest February day.
      Think spring. 🙂


      • February 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks! Spring is definitely on everyone’s mind right now. We still have several weeks to go though!!
        Keeping warm 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth
    February 18, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Just what I needed! Love seeing the beauty of your flowers! xoxo


  6. Tara
    February 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Beautifully written!
    I remember teaching this to the first graders with you… 😊 Miss you!


    • Marie
      February 18, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Lovely. Nice to learn new things and I loved your flowers which are especially nice to see during this dreadful winter.


      • February 19, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        It has been cold, snowy and too long. Soon the snowdrops will be peeking through. 🙂


    • February 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      I miss you too! The memories of our days together teaching live in a special place in my heart. 🙂


  7. February 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    A perfect tribute to Chinese New Year, wonderful reds, the color of the heart!


    • February 23, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Thank-you! I love the beauty of the color red; it lifts our spirits on cold winter days. 😉


  8. February 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Beautiful photographs…a few flowers I grow also, a few new to me. I have my sweet pea seeds winter sown and ready to sprout in the back yard. My poppies will soon be in their plastic jugs, winter sown, and ready to grow. Spring awaits us all. Thanks for the lovely post.


    • February 25, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Thank-you for the follow and for your comment.
      I love sweet pea flowers and planted them in my vegetable garden last year. Looking froward to spring. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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