Chinese New Year : Chinese Garden + Old Town

This is the second winter we’ve visited the Chinese Garden, in downtown Portland, in the winter.  This year we went during Chinese New Year and they had everything so beautifully decorated.

We made a whole day out of this outing.  We took the bus downtown, something we normally don’t do.  We were all excited and it made our day much more fun!

So off we went on our trip downtown.  We had all day to play and have fun.

We are used to getting in the car and driving everywhere we need to go, taking the bus was a really fun adventure.  The more transfers we did the better, so I looked on their website the perfect route for us.

Two buses later, we were at the Portland Chinese Garden.

As we were walking in the garden they welcomed us and invited us to find The Nine Sons of the Dragon King.

A Chinese legend, on how the King Dragon’s sons got to their vocations as their father saw their talents.

We went through the garden finding all these nine little dragons hidden in different spots, related to their talents.  A beautifully done game for kids.

The beauty of homeschooling.  Being able to go to a beautiful place when it’s not crowded.  See and learn things in a different way, it’s perfect for us.  This was another hands-on learning activity, just like our 4-month long hands-on living in India.

We found the room they were doing a craft project.  Perfect for a little warming up on this cool morning, and great for some making too.

Personally, I think you can’t go wrong with Sharpies! Don’t you think?

And good wishes.

Or dragons.

We read our Fortune Sticks.

And went outside again (after finding another King Dragon’s son in this room) and found a beautiful, clear, sunny winter morning.

We then walked down to the Boat Room to listen to a story.

A volunteer read The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey, a Barefoot book.  We had read this story online few days before, but this book is much prettier and a great story.

This is the story of how 12 animals went to the Emperor’s race to see who will have the honor to be the first one in the Chinese Zodiac.  I think we’ll have to add it to our collection.

After storytime, we went to see the rest of the garden.

We also learned that there is an old Chinese story that says that on New Year’s Eve a terrible dragon, would go to this small town in China, and he would eat anyone he could find.  An old man knew that the dragon was scared of the color red, bright lights and loud noises.  That’s why on Chinese New Year’s Eve there are firecrackers, drum playing and people hang red decorations and lanterns on their houses.  To scare this dragon away.

We also went for a talk and to a celebration to the Chinese God of Wealth.

Incense, money and goods.

With tea and wine for the gods.

We each had three wishes and picked three pieces of paper and money to burn in the fire we had.

And with this beautiful winter day, cold but sunny, we went for a walk in Old Town after finishing here at the Chinese Garden.

24 Hours Church of Elvis.

Siena noticed the top of that building and wanted me to take a picture of it.

We had a great ‘Social Studies’ day.

Two more buses to catch and a train ride across the river made our day complete.  Lots of memories and lots of stories to tell Papá when he got home.  A beautiful day!


One thought on “Chinese New Year : Chinese Garden + Old Town

  1. Steph W February 3, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    Happy Chinese New Year to you! I’m going to be posting tomorrow about a tea celebration I attended.

    Trimet rocks!

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