Lunar New Year celebrates culture and community
January 29, 2017
Students celebrated the Lunar New Year in the atrium and MLK room on Friday, Jan. 27. The 18th celebration of the day at the high school marked the beginning of the Year of the Rooster. The Lunar New Year celebration was not only an opportunity to celebrate Asian cultures but also cultures from all over the world. In the MLK room, lampshades hung from the ceilings for decoration. Students ran games at tables surrounding the room as the crowded room bustled with students eager to win pieces of candy.
In one game, students spun a wheel that pointed to ethnic foods from different countries. Another game focused around celebrating the diversity of the international student body. Students lifted pictures of international students to reveal questions. Other games revolved around greetings and fashion trends from around the world. Just outside the MLK room, students lined a long table, serving different foods to others as they streamed in. Money raised will go to nonprofit organizations as well as to scholarships for this year’s Spain trip.
Later in the day, the main program of the celebration took place. In the atrium, members of the Asian Pacific American Club emceed the event, which included performances of diabolos, large yo-yos spun on a long string held by two sticks. Juniors Petra Huang, Dougie Szeto and Miles Leong kept the audience captivated with their daring tricks, one of which featured Headmaster Anthony Meyer catching a yo-yo tossed high into the air.
Other performances included a martial arts performance by senior Mari Goldstein and sophomore Brandon Chin. Their fluid yet fierce movements highlighted the elegance and power of their skills. Another performance included several Chinese exchange students, who performed a traditional Chinese song and dance accompanied by a flute-like instrument.
Towards the end of the program, members of the this year’s Chinese exchange program, as well as those from last year, congregated in the middle of the atrium. Students from last year’s exchange trip gave gifts to the students who will be leaving in two short weeks to live in China. Chemistry teacher Elsbeth Leslie, who accompanied the students last year to China, commented on how students who are part of the exchange trip act as ambassadors for their respective countries.
The final performance was a lively and a much anticipated one: the lion dance. Two performers cloaked under the costume of the lion participated in a rhythmic and aggressive dance, at one point tossing oranges and even a head of lettuce into the crowd. The crowd cheered loudly as the performance, and the celebration, came to an end.