Celebrating Year of the Pig!

Celebrating the Chinese New Year!  

The new year is usually in January or February and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate and learn more about Chinese culture.

There are 12 animals signs of Chinese Zodiac. They’re rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2019 will be the year of the pig.

The Years of the Pig include 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043…

The pig is the sign of honesty, simplicity and great fortitude. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well. Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life.

Paradise Valley Performance/Celebration for 2019 – Year of the Pig

Students performed “The Heaven Sent Pig” a narrated musical story throughout the day on Thursday, January 31st, 2019.  Each grade’s Dual Language Immersion students, who are learning Mandarin, also had a separate performance where they spoke the language in forms of song, poem, and teaching the audience letters and words. These DLI students spend half their school day learning their curriculum in Mandarin and immersing themselves in Chinese culture. This year marks the first year the program has students in all 5 grade levels. The current fifth graders who started the program as kindergarteners will have the opportunity to travel to China at the end of the year! Starting with the 2019 – 2020 school year these kids will also be able to continue on with their immersion programs in middle school. CY Middle School has been selected to host the Mandarin DLI program.

The Story for 2019

This year’s story is based on a Chinese fairytale adapted by Amy Friedman and Meredith Johnson.  Our script is based on their adaptation.

The Heaven Sent Pig

A long time ago in a mystical land far, far away, a farmer and his wife had a dream of one day being wealthy.  Their crop field was small and they were very poor, yet, they were thankful for what they had. With each new season, they would sell their crops and save their hard-earned copper coins in order to purchase a pig.  They believed if they raised a pig to be plump and happy, they could sell the pig for more copper coin than their crops could ever bring. At long last, they purchased their pig and began to feed and raise it to be the perfect size to sell.

Over the next year, no matter how much they fed and cared for it, the pig never grew.  It stayed the same size as the day they bought it. The farmer and his wife became bitter and angry.  Their minds became fixed on copper coin, and they were forgetting to be thankful for what they had. Their bitterness and anger was turning into greed.

One night, a magical stranger approached them.  He asked the couple if he could buy their pig and offered 500 copper coins for payment.  The couple new the pig was only worth a few copper coins at best, and agreed to sell right away!  They traded the pig for the bag of coins and were delighted! Blinded by their riches they forgot to ask a very important question.  With coins in hand, they asked the stranger why he would pay so much for such a small pig?

The stranger told them it was no ordinary pig, it was a heaven-sent pig, full of magical treasure.  Simply scratch the pig’s ears, make it oink three times and the treasure will appear and swirl above.   All you must do to grab it is…

Suddenly, blinded by their greed, the couple interrupted the stranger’s story and stole back the pig.  They knew the pig was different and that the treasure had to be real! The couple rushed inside with haste and greed on their mind.  They scratched the pig’s ears, made him oink three times, and that’s when the magic began…

Magically, the treasure appeared and swirled above their heads.  The couple tried to reach the treasure but it kept flying away! The couple became desperate in their attempts to grab the riches above.  The treasure was too quick and always kept evading their hands. Then, like a cold draft, the treasure disappeared, never to be seen again.

The couple thought they had been tricked, and marched outside to the stranger!  The stranger told them they had become too greedy! First, he told them how they broke their promise and stole back the pig.  Second, he told them they were so eager to get the treasure they never let him finish his story. If only they had let the treasure swirl, scratched the pig’s ears, oinked the pig three more times, the treasure would have floated down for the taking.  The couple saw what they had become and they were ashamed.

From that moment on, the couple kept the pig as a reminder to be thankful for what they have, and never be greedy, and always keep their promises.  The magical stranger was never seen or heard from again.

Customs and celebrations that happen during the 2-week Chinese New Year Celebration:

1.During the 2-week celebration, towns are decorated with colorful lanterns and flowers. People clean their homes thoroughly to symbolize getting rid of the misfortunes of the previous year.

2. Fish is one of the main dishes that people eat during the Celebration.

3. One of the most widely celebrated customs is to make dumplings. This tradition dates dates back to 200 A.D. about 1800 years.

4.Shou Sui: is the tradition to welcome in the new year. The belief is that children who stay up late with parents will increase the longevity of their parents.

5. The Red Packet: This is literally a red packet or envelope given by parents or elder married couples to kids, the belief is that the money can suppress the evil from the children.

 
 

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