With its fireworks, family reunions and feasts, Lunar New Year is the longest and most important celebration for millions throughout the world.
For kids adopted from China, it holds special meaning. Lunar New Year makes them mini-ambassadors of a culture they know little about firsthand.
There's no official handbook on how far parents of internationally adopted children should go to celebrate their kids' birth cultures, but marking Lunar New Year -- Year of the Dragon begins Jan. 23 -- is usually one of those times for Asian children.
Their parents decorate front doors, throw dumpling-making parties and stuff red envelopes with money. They clean their homes at the start of the 15-day celebration and hang red lanterns at the end. Others keep it simple, sharing dim sum with friends at a restaurant or watching dragons dance at parades in Chinese enclaves in their communities.
For Myra Cocca in Central Indiana, it's harder as her kids have grown older and busier to observe the traditions they loved when they were small. Her son, adopted from South Korea, is 11 now. When he was little, she dressed him in a traditional garment called a hanbok for the celebration. Today, "sometimes we're not home during the holiday, so we have not always marked the occasion," she said.
I Choose Not To
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