The Lunar New Year, or the beginning of a new year based on the cycles of the moon, began on Feb. 5, ushering in the Year of the Pig. Traditionally celebrated in many Asian nations including China, Vietnam, and South Korea, the holiday lasts approximately two weeks and is also considered a Spring Festival in China. The School celebrated the Lunar New Year each day Feb. 4 - 8 with a variety of events across each division.
Starting on Feb. 4, students and faculty were delighted to find red and gold lanterns and streamers hung in the trees and across the Greenway Rise Campus, immediately starting the week off on a festive note. The next day, Mr. Bob Clark's Upper School Tea and Chinese Culture Opportunity Block came together to sing a celebratory song in honor of the holiday.
On Feb. 6, the Residential Life program hosted its annual Lunar New Year dinner for boarding students and host families. Following a brief presentation, students performed a song and dance and then all attendees enjoyed a dinner featuring dumplings made by students and dorm parents.
"The dinner is a chance to meet my friends at school and then present one of the most important traditions in my country to them," noted Duy Nguyen '20, from Vietnam.
"We had to prepare dumplings in advance and the entire dorm was involved in it, creating a deeper bond between the dorm parents and the members. We also decorated the Dining Hall and Walker House with both Chinese and Vietnamese parallel sentences and lanterns. Even though I was not in the musical performance and the presentation, I noticed that every member worked really hard for a successful New Year dinner."
On Feb. 7, the Grades K - 4 community held a Lunar New Year-themed Chapel led by Señora Roth, who invited nine students in Grades K - 4 and the Upper School Residential Life program to speak and perform. Five of the students shared a special memory or tradition they continue with their families in celebration of the new year, while the other four performed a song together. Parents, faculty, and some Grades 5 - 8 students were also present for the Chapel.
To close the week, the Language 8: English class gathered with some of their fifth grade peers to learn more about the Lunar New Year and the traditions that those celebrating observe, and then practiced saying some words in Mandarin.
Pictures of the many ways our community celebrated the Lunar New Year can be found on the School's SmugMug.