It’s taken me over a month to finally post about our lunar new year celebrations, but I didn’t want it to get missed. We had such a wonderful time with the Korean Canadian Children’s Association (KCCA) and the members of the Korean Light Presbyterian Church who hosted us. They have a beautiful, large facility that was more than perfect for the event. This year’s event was our 4th celebration with the KCCA, and each year is a little bit different. Barb, Andy, their boys, Jenana and my parents joined us for the day. We were also happy to spend the day with Krista, Matt and Alex.
The morning started with a ceremony where we were entertained with a Jin-Do drum dance, a fan dance and Hwa-Gwan Mu by the children’s Glory Mission Dance team. We were also shown a mock Pe Bak ceremony that is done at Korean weddings. Very entertaining! Before the end of the ceremony, the children got to participate in the traditional Se Bae bowing ceremony. Adam and Daniel eagerly ran to the front while Benny was more hesitant, and then behaved in typical Benny fashion.
We were all eagerly anticipating the delicious lunch prepared by the women of the church, and it did not disappoint. Vegetable rolls, dumplings, bulgogi, japchae, and more. It was all delicious. During the lunch, we were entertained by a drum dance that fascinated the boys.
In previous years, we have rarely stayed much past lunch time, with our boys being tired out from all the excitement. This year, they were so excited and really enjoying themselves, that we wanted to stay for the afternoon’s event. The church organized a number of activities that allowed us to experience a taste of Korean customs, traditions and food. The boys got to play Yut-Nori (the most well known Korean traditional board game that is played during Korean New Year) and Gonggi (a popular Korean girl’s game that is traditionally played using 5 or smaller grape sized pebbles), and had a blast.
As soon as the boys saw that children were getting their faces painted, they raced to that room and Adam made sure to get the Korean flag smack in the middle of his forehead. Benny rolled up his jeans and asked for a Canada flag on his leg. Only Benny.
From there, they headed to the calligraphy room where the boys got to decorate prints with their version of calligraphy. Benny painted his full sheet black.
Finally, my favourite room was the Korean market where we got to make KimBab and rice cakes. The boys loved hitting the ball of rice with the hammer, though no one much enjoyed the taste of the rice cakes. We loved getting to make the KimBab. Adam was so patient and did an excellent job of his. It looked great! We also enjoyed tasting the cinnamon ginger tea and the tteokbokki. The ladies were so awesome and made sure that we all took home whatever we wanted to (and lots of it!).
We have so many great memories of this day. The members of the Korean church were so welcoming, kind and generous to our families. I cannot say enough wonderful things about all the volunteers who helped with the whole event, who embraced all our families and were so fabulous at sharing little pieces of their culture. We look forward to joining the KCCA for more of their events in the future.