Monday, February 6, 2012

Year of the Water Dragon

January was a really busy month! There was Chinese New Year, and I started my Bat Mitzvah activities. We are also meeting with the celebrant a lot and picking readings for my Bat Mitzvah ceremony.

Every year for Chinese New Year my family and I go to Chinatown for the lion dances. This year we went to dim sum at a restaurant called Ping’s. The whole family was there; Grandma Martha, two of my cousins, Alice and Jane, Uncle Marc, Aunt Mary, and Mom and Dad, plus lots of family friends. After lunch we went outside for the lion dances, and played with silly string, confetti poppers, and noisemakers. Beside from the usual dragons there, this year there were special unicorns because it is the year of the water dragon, which is only every 60 years. It is good luck to see the unicorns, and they were the first ones I saw! We fed all of the dragons (and unicorns) lucky money in red envelopes. (I also got some lucky money!)

Chinese New Year was on January 23. On New Year’s Eve (the 22nd) I had dinner at my grandma’s house, again, with the whole family. We had a really good dinner! We had a Chinese hot pot. All the food was cooked at the table in chicken broth. There were so many different kinds of foods, like dumplings, tofu, bok choy, pork and chicken. After dinner I got to hang out with Alice and Jane.

On Chinese New Years Day, I had dinner with my best friend Eve, the same one that was over for Hanukah. We got Shanghai takeout from Chinatown, and it was also really good!

For my first Bar Mitzvah project I am volunteering at a soup kitchen in Jersey City. (I have to wake up at 5:30 to get there!) I do this with my Hebrew School Class and other volunteers. We get to pour juice, toast bread, make the eggs, and other things as well as serve the hot food. There is usually cereal, coffee, fruit, chicken nuggets, pancakes, oatmeal, and lots more for everyone to eat. It is really fun to do, and also makes me really grateful of all the things I have. I will definitely keep on doing it even after Hebrew School and my Bat Mitzvah are over.

Until next time,

Nicole Chan Ostrowis a contributing writer for Chinese & Chosen. She is preparing for her Chinese and Jewish Bat Mitzvah on October 6, 2012.

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