Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Last year we spent Easter in Shanghai. This year we're staying home.
Easter is not a major holiday in China, usually only celebrated by the big hotels that cater to foreigners. The first Easter I lived in China, we went to church and then to the Panjiayuan flea market, then held in a big dirt field. The second Easter, we went to Sunday brunch at a major hotel, but that was it. So when Jon and I knew we were going to spend Easter in Shanghai, we wanted to make it special for our Chinese friends.
All that was on the agenda for the day was hanging out at our young friends' new condo, which they'd just moved into the week before. Shuo's mom and step-dad came down from Beijing for our visit.
Jon and I decided to have an Easter egg decorating contest. We took over a couple of different Easter egg coloring kits and some stickers. After lunch, we set up the dining table with everything: boiled eggs, paper cups full of dye, marking crayons, transfers and marking pens plus ribbons and fabric for anyone who wanted to get really creative.
We spent the next couple of hours decorating the eggs -- a first for our Chinese friends. They took this very seriously. There was much discussion on what to do, and what would be the best way to go about it. Should the egg have Chinese characteristics? Should it be simple? Should it be fancy? Of course, this was a big deal. After all, a chocolate bunny was at stake. We brought the bunny to give as a prize to the person who made the best decorated egg. The winner was decided by popular vote. You can see our results above.
Celebrating holidays in a foreign land, and sharing it with good friends makes holidays just that much more special. Last Easter was one we'll remember for a long time. This year we'll be spending Easter at home, but thinking of our faraway friends and all the fun we had on that trip.
If you're planning a trip to China, please check out my website for more information. If you have questions about travel in China, please feel free to email me.