Pan-Asian Lunar New Year festival attracts diverse crowd to the high school


Sofia Reynoso/Sagamore Staff

The YMCA dance troupe performs a routine at the Pan-Asian Lunar New Year festival on Feb. 4.

Natalie Jew and Sofia Reynoso

To celebrate the 2017 Year of the Rooster people of numerous ages and ethnicities crowded into the high school. Children danced while music played, yo-yos soared and the lion welcomed in the New Year. Red and yellow lanterns lit the MLK Room as a stream of children, families, and volunteers played games, ate and talked.

“For me celebrating the Lunar New Year is important to my culture and my family so being able to celebrate it with my town is just a wonderful opportunity,” Assistant Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations and commissioner for Massachusetts Asian American Commission Chris Chanyasulkit said. “Asians are the largest minority group in Brookline and it’s beautiful that the town gets together to recognize that, celebrate it and support it.”

The Pan-Asian Lunar New Year festival at the high school on Saturday, Feb. 4. brought cultures and generations together. The high school hosted performances and had a variety of traditional Asian cuisine in the atrium. The MLK room had games, activities, and arts and crafts to educate young children on Asian culture.

The Lunar New Year is observed from Jan. 28. to Feb. 20. and is traditionally celebrated each day.

One of the performances was the YMCA Dance Troupe in which young women in bright blue clothing elegantly used purple fans in their dance routine.

Another dance was that of one of the high school’s groups known as the BHS APAC Popcorn Dance Club. Known for performing K-Pop songs, the club danced to three songs in a spectacle unlike any other of the day.

Next up was a performance of the Chinese yo-yo with spectacular tricks using the classic toy. On multiple occasions, they launched the  yo-yo high into the air and caught it to the awe of the huge crowd.

Last, but certainly not least, Calvin Chin’s Martial Arts Academy Lion Dance Cubs ended the celebration with a bang. Two children showed off their martial arts and lion dancing skills in a performance to remember.

Chanyasulkit said the celebration was a great opportunity for Brookline residents to come together and learn about the Lunar New Year.

“I love the idea that with all of the different people in the town we can get together in a way where we can learn about each other and recognize that there is such strength in our diversity” Chanyasulkit said.