The 2019 Lunar New Year (also known as Spring Festival, 春节) took place on February 5. On that day we began saying "goodbye!" to the year of the dog and "hello! " to the year of the pig. Our middle grades Chinese classes had been preparing for a Spring Festival celebration for weeks.
To kick off the celebration, our students first learned about the famous Lunar New Year story, the legend of Monster Nian. Then we introduced students to all the do’s and don’ts of Lunar New Year, and explained how Chinese people follow a day-by-day guide to prepare for the holiday starting seven days before Lunar New Year’s Eve.
We discussed what people do to decorate their houses before the New Year, and had our students write four-character well-wishes using calligraphy brushes. Instead of posting the good wishes on doors, they decorated the 7th floor commons with all their best wishes for the whole school. Lunar New Year paper-cutting is another indispensable part of holiday decoration. Our students used red paper to cut out the shapes of pigs and fish, the character for “happiness” in Chinese, and different flowers. Each of them represents a different wish.
After getting all the decorations done, we participated in our Lunar New Year must-have activity—making dumplings together. Chinese people like to put one coin in one of the dumplings so that the person who eats that dumpling on New Year’s Day is considered to be the luckiest one in the whole family. Our students substituted candy for coins. Afterward the dumplings were ready, we shared them with middle grades students and faculty. We want to wish our Avenues family a happy and prosperous Pig Year! 祝大家猪年大吉！