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Year of the Dragon Dawns with Vigor

(Abbey Z./Staff)

As its image embodies, a dragon, the fifth of 12 zodiacs in the Lunar New Year cycle, represents charisma, power, ambition, and confidence. Families and communities around the world welcomed the Year of the Dragon on Saturday, February 10.

Lunar New Year is also called the Spring Festival because it occurs on the second new moon after the winter solstice and marks the beginning of spring. The Spring Festival lasts 15 days, and people wear and adorn their houses with red clothing and decorations to symbolize life and prosperity. To dispel bad luck, they light fireworks and deep clean their homes. Many people reunite with their families and celebrate in events like the Lantern Festival, Dragon Dance, and Spring Festival Gala. 

Upper Schoolers began their festivities on Thursday, February 8, when the Chinese Parents Association (CPA) and student volunteers decorated the school with red lanterns, stickers, and tassels. Members of EAST Affinity dressed in cultural attire the following day, showing pride through their clothing. On Monday, February 12, the Chinese students wore traditional Chinese garments while dancing and singing at the annual Lunar New Year assembly, their version of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala.

Honors Chinese 5 students Irena A., Annika B., Alina L., Adam R., Morgan R., Tanner S., Peter T., Sam W., and Mimi Z. served as emcees, introducing each act.

To begin, the Chinese 2 class created a video providing general information about the Year of the Dragon. Afterward, Michael M. sang the lyrics of 剪梅 (jiǎn méi), beginning with a slow rhythm before opening up into a powerful chorus. Chinese 3 students joined him on stage, dancing to the music as we clapped to the beat. A little later, the Chinese 4 class entered with a dragon costume, showcasing the power of this popular dance. 

The Honors Chinese 4 students created a video titled 新年爱的故事 (xīn nián ài de gù shì) about a love story in a traditional family. It emphasized cultural values such as respect, and its humorous acting entertained us. Then, Ashton D. and Parker K. turned, balanced, spun, and threw yo-yos in the ever-popular yo-yo act, wowing the audience with their technique.

To end the assembly, we stood up and joined the Honors Chinese 5 class as they danced to 日不落 (rì bù luò). The rhythmic clapping, catchy tune, and fun dance moves left us with high spirits and a love for Chinese culture.

Milana B. says, “Being in the assembly was more than just dancing with my peers—it allowed me to immerse myself in Chinese culture. As a senior who has been in the assembly for all four years of high school, I have looked forward to each year, doing something both entertaining and worthwhile for the community.”

As the Spring Festival continues, the CPA and EAST Affinity will bring more activities in the coming week to educate and entertain. For now, may you be happy and prosperous in the new year, or: 恭喜发财 (Gōngxǐ fācái).


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