Category Archives: history

Happy Labor Day from!


We’re a little early to the celebration, but would like to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day! We want everyone to get started on Labor Day weekend (LDW) right, so we’re going send our best wishes to you starting today!

But before we start enjoying our weekend, let’s  remember the meaning behind Labor Day. Every year, on the first Monday in September, we celebrate the hard work and achievements of the workers of America. All our hard work, past and present, has contributed to the welfare of our country. This national holiday rewards many of us with a day off of work.

So to everyone celebrating a 3 day weekend for Labor Day, don’t forget the meaning behind it! We hope everyone will enjoy a great LDW, and we’ll be back next week to start off Halloween and Fall themed ideas!



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Happy Flag Day! + HS American Flag Decor Picks!


Happy Flag Day, everyone! June 14th of every year is Flag Day, celebrating the adoption of the American flag in the United States. Though it is not an official federal holiday, many cities in the US still celebrate this day by having a parade.

“Flag Day celebration at Pageant Field” via Examiner

Want to join in on the Flag Day fun? Put up your own American flags to celebrate! Here are some of our favorite American Flag themed decorations from!

HS-J-SMFLAGSET4th of July Patriotic Small American Flags (12 ct)

HS-J-2X3AMFLAG4th of July Patriotic American Flag w/ Pole

HS-J-AMFLAGPINS4th of July Patriotic American Flag Pins (6 pcs)HS-J-PINWHEELPatriotic Yard Americana Flag Pinwheel

HS-J-FLBANDANA_14th of July Patriotic American Flag Bandana

We hope everyone has a great time celebrating Flag Day today!

Don’t forget, this Sunday is Father’s Day too!

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Memorial Day Traditions


Memorial Day will be on on May 27th, 2013 (check out our countdown widget on the right side bar–it’s on Monday). Memorial Day is a holiday dedicated to honor all Americans who had lost their lives while serving our country. It occurs on the last Monday of every May.

HS-J-2X3AMFLAGOn Memorial Day, many family, friends, and volunteers will visit the national cemetery to honor those who had been in service, and place American flags  and flowers on the graves. Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day because of the decorated graves.

At 3 pm local time, Americans are asked to pause for 1 minute to signify unity of our country, also known as the National Moment of Remembrance.

Also, the American flag is to be flown at half staff from sunrise until noon. The flag should be raised to the top for a moment before lowering to half staff.

These are only a few traditions to observe on Memorial Day. To learn about these traditions and more, we recommend taking some time to read up on all the different historic and traditional information surrounding Memorial Day.

(Image via

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Chinese New Year Red Home Decorations

While cleaning your home for Chinese New Year is a must, decorating it is also necessary! Alongside fresh flowers, many families also put up other Chinese New Year decorations to celebrate. Red is the color of Chinese New Year, so make sure you have an abundance of red around your home!

We’re going to share with you some popular decorations for you to use for your own home during Chinese New Year!

Via About

Firecrackers are synonymous with Chinese New Year celebrations. Though many cities now do not allow real firecrackers to be set off because of safety, there are many decorative firecrackers that we can find on the market.

Via Random Walk in Learning

This decorative sign, also known as fai chun, is common for Chinese New Year. Many fai chun are still drawn by hand using Chinese calligraphy on a piece of red paper, but you can also find printed ones. Traditional four-word phrases are usually written on the fai chun, signifying anything from good luck, health, to many others.

Via Paperkraft

HS-C-LAN-RND-RCheck out this one we have from

If you visit a Chinese New Year festival, you’ll definitely see a lot of red lanterns. They can be decorated with intricate designs, or just plain. Either way, they are beautiful when lit up.

Via This is Mandarin

The Chinese knot decoration is a prevalent wall decor. The art of knotting was popularized in the Ming Dynasty and continues to be popular now, and especially during holidays. It can be decorated using coins strung into the knot.

Give a few of these decorations a try for Chinese New Year, and let us know which is your favorite!

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About Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

In Chinese, red envelopes are called 利是 (pronounced lai-see). During Chinese New Year, red envelopes are typically given to children and unwed individuals from married couples and adults. This tradition has been going on for hundreds of years, and continues to be practiced to this day.


Inside each red envelope is money. During this time of the year, many adults start setting aside fresh and crisp dollars to put in each envelope. The amount must steer clear of the number 4 because it signifies death in the Chinese culture. The children who receive the envelopes will graciously thank the adult, and wish them good health and fortune for the new year.

Red envelopes are also given to lion dance performers, teachers, and other individuals for their service.

Though it is most common to exchange red envelopes for Chinese New Year, many other occasions also call for this tradition. Red envelopes are also given for weddings and birthdays to wish the recipient good luck and fortune.

What other information do you want to learn about the red envelope? Let us know and we’ll share with everyone in a future post. We hope everyone will receive a lot of good fortune and red envelopes this Chinese New Year!

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Lucky Foods to Eat on Chinese New Year

Along with attending community festivals and celebrations, Chinese New Year is all about the food. Family and friends gather together to enjoy a large meal to welcome the new year. As you may already know, good luck and fortune is very important to the Chinese culture, and food is no exception.

Today, we’re going to share with you a list of lucky foods to eat on Chinese New Year. Keep reading to find out which foods are lucky to the Chinese, and the reason why.

Noodles: Long noodles signify a long life.  There is even a “long life noodle” that is especially popular this time of year and during birthdays. Noodles can be served with soup, or in a stir fry dish.

Via Sop International

Nian Gao: The direct translation of this food is “year cake.” In Chinese, the word “gao” sounds like the word for “high”  so eating nian gao signifies reaching new heights in the new year. Nian gao is a sweet glutinous rice cake that is cut up into slices and served.

Via Chow

Fish: One dish that cannot be forgotten is fish. In Chinese, the word fish sounds similar to the word that means plenty and abundance. By serving fish, we are wishing abundance of food and luck to our families. Steamed whole with soy sauce is a popular way to serve the fish.

Via Asian Food Grocer

Dumplings: Dumplings are commonly served on Chinese New Year in Northern China because of their shape. Dumplings are shaped like yuan bao, which are gold coins, representing prosperity.

Yuan Bao from

Via CN Culture

Radish/Turnip Cake: While it is served year around at Chinese dimsum restaurants, the radish cake is especially popular during Chinese New Year. The word radish sounds like “good fortune” in Chinese. The radish cake is usually steamed and  made with radish, turnip, or daikon and rice flour as the base, with pieces of Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, and mushrooms mixed in.

Via Food for Four

All of these lucky foods, along with and many others, are served to friends and family for Chinese New Year to wish everyone good luck and fortune for the new year. Which one of these will you try for Chinese New Year? Let us know in the comments below!

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All About the Chinese Lion Dance

If you’ve ever seen or been part of a Chinese New Year festival, you may have witnessed the Chinese Lion Dance. Two individuals dressed in a lion costume perform a dance to drums and music to bring good luck and fortune to the local community.

Via Rent Cafe/China Blog

The lion dance costumes are usually made with bright colors. There are two main styles of lion dance costumes, from the northern and southern region of China.

The Chinese Northern Lion has long orange and yellow fur on the body. A male and female lion is differentiated by a red and green bow, respectively.

Via Cultural China

The Chinese Southern Lion has a few more variations of appearance depending on the style: “Fut San (Buddha Mountain), Hok san (Crane Style), Fut-Hok (minor style that exhibits a hybrid of Fut San and Hok San), Jow Ga (minor style performed by practitioners of Jow family style kung fu, exampled by the Wong People), and the Green Lion (Qing1 Shi1 – popular with the Fukien/Hokkien and Taiwanese).” [Source]

Here are some examples of the Chinese Southern lion.

Via Hello Kids & CCTV

During the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Chinese lion will visit local businesses and homes. The community will prepare a giant head of lettuce and a red envelope for the lion to “eat” when they visit. The lion brings good luck and fortune to the community, and then is given the red envelope as a gift.

If two lions approach the same lettuce, they will compete by doing elaborate martial arts moves and dances, and the winner will gain respect and praise to their group.

The lion dance is not just popular among the Chinese. There are also variations of it in other parts of Asia, such as Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Japan.

The Chinese Lion Dance is an important part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Have you ever seen a Chinese Lion Dance? Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait to see the lions perform again for 2013!


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