Asian Society Celebrates Chinese New Year
by Rajiv Ram on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Sunday, February 10th marks the first day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar: the Chinese New Year. During the festival, families take part in a number of holiday activities, including the famous Lion Dance. During this ritual celebration, performers parade in a large, elaborate lion costume. After the initial festivities, families gather in their homes to feast on delicacies such as pork, duck, and sweets.
For children, the Chinese New Year is a time of fun-filled traditions. Throughout the night, firecrackers burst through Chinese towns. For Andrew Lu, (IV) the highlight of the night comes in a red envelope. Young people receive these traditionally money-filled envelopes from their grandparents. Overall, Andrew shares, “Everyone has a great time.” The New Year comes to a close with the lantern ceremony . Holding paper lanterns, Children walk from their homes to local temples. There, they solve riddles written on the lanterns and hang the lights, creating a beautiful sight for the townsfolk to see.
Many Milton boarding students will not get the opportunity to celebrate this holiday with their families. Thankfully, Milton’s Asian Society will host its own Chinese New Year celebration to usher in the Year of the Snake. Faculty leaders Ms. WuWong and Ms. Otenti will gather with the 40 to 60 students participating in the celebration. Although the Chinese New Year is not yet recognized as a school-wide event, the students taking part will celebrate in full. On Sunday, they will cook Chinese food, watch movies, and share their own holiday feast. In the event that Chinese New Year falls on a school day, students taking part are permitted to skip their classes for the day, though they are still expected to keep up with homework, tests, and all other assignments.
To create a holiday atmosphere, Asian society will spice up the Student Center with traditional New Years decorations, including brightly colored accessories, paper lanterns, and small red cards. Flik Dining Services will prepare a themed dinner for the whole community, and the Asian Society will hold a chapel program for the upcoming holiday. The celebrations are completely optional for Chinese students. To be able to attend the celebrations, however, one must either be a person of Asian descent or a member of Asian Society who has demonstrated his or her dedication to the club.
Last year, the New Year’s celebration was difficult to hold, as the first day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar took place during exam week. As one might expect, most students opted out of the celebrations to study. Thankfully, such is not the case this year. Having survived exams, the student body is more than ready for some festivity.
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