Google celebrates Chinese New Year with an animated Doodle on its search page today. Oh, I do love the rocking horse!
A happy rosy-cheeked oriental girl moves backwards and forwards on a wooden rocking horse.
Behind her, a young man with a new haircut is carrying Chinese lanterns and fire crackers. What a joyous scene.
Do you want to know what I received this Chinese New Year?
Last Sunday, my friend Hazel gave me a gift at church, with the Chinese characters translated into English as: “Wishing you wealth year after year. Love, Hēi zī ěr“. How not spiritual. How materialistic. (How un-Christian!) And I really love Hazel’s creativity!
Hazel did her homework well. She told me that “You always wish Chinese people to have lots and lots of money.” My friend Hazel is always right.
In the pretty gift bag, Hazel gave me a noisy toy called Monkey Drum, a two-headed drum which is played by quickly turning the wrist so that the beads strike the drum heads.
What do the Chinese New Year cards look like?
Hazel had searched all card stores in the south but could not find any Chinese New Year card. Someone even told her “There is no such thing as a Chinese New Year card.” However, Hazel persevered. She later went through a lot of trouble to create the Chinese message for me. As her own computer could not read Chinese, Hazel borrowed an iPad, and got her English text translated on Google Translate into Chinese, then printed the message out.
However, now Hazel knows where to buy Chinese New Year cards from Southampton to Winchester through my research.
My sister sent me a card on behalf of my big family from Malaysia and Singapore. The cherry-blossom card carries the character 春（chūn), meaning Spring. The Lunar New Year is also called the Spring Festival.
My friend Brenda from Southampton is an origami fan, and also a member of the prestigious British Origami Association. Every year Brenda sends me a hand-made origami Chinese New Year card. She sent me this New Year card with a dynamic galloping horse, which she learnt from the origami book called Origami for Harmony and Happiness by Steve and Megumi Biddle.
My teenage student Emma-Jane drew this picture of horse for me.
Finally I want to show you the New Year cards I made this year.
I learned how to fold this charming rocking horse created by José Tomás Buitrago through Leyla Torres on her video tutorial. Though this origami horse seems easy to fold, it carries a ‘sink fold’ at the bottom, so if you are a beginner, you will need a lot of patience.
I later made many rocking horses and made some New Year cards to send to my family in the Far East.
Happy New Year to you all! May your Year of the Horse be blessed with love, happiness, good health, and, as my friend Hazel wishes us all, wealth.