March 2 the Chinese classes hosted a Lantern Festival in Commons with Mrs. Wei Wei Lu to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Games, food, dragon dancing and a Tai Chi demonstration were prepared alongside numerous lantern decorations and festive plushies for the Year of the Dog.
The Chinese students wore matching black T-shirts with their names, a Chinese saying, and the well-wishes for a happy new year, but traded the “American” garb for the traditional Tai Chi white satin robes to perform in front of the students at lunch. After the riveting performance of the calming martial art, Dakota Traynham (12), Kaitlyn McCort (12), Jimmy Gary (11), Wil Armstrong (11), D’Mitris Singleton (11), and Vanessa Harshaw (11) carried the Chinese dragon high above the students seated in Commons, making the serpent writhe and dance as it raced to eat the majestic ball carried in front.
Dancing and Tai Chi finished, the students at lunch rushed to fill up on egg rolls and lo mein provided to them, or to try and pick up M&M candies with chopsticks and even answer a few lantern riddle questions. The kids had a great time trying to say Happy Lantern Festival in Chinese and a few even got the lantern question right!
The Chinese showcase and New Year celebration went extremely well and everyone was so happy that many people took an interest in all the hard work of the Chinese classes!
From the Chinese students: “Yuán xiāo jié kuài lè!” (Happy Lantern Festival!)
Chinese Festival Explanation