written by Ayla Karadogan
photos by Celine Chien
Last Thursday, M-A celebrated the Lunar New Year on the Green. The Chinese Culture Club, Asian Culture Club, and Mandarin teacher Rui Dong’s classes worked together to set up various tables with fun and interactive activities for the celebration. Stanford’s Lion Dance Team also made an appearance with a performance of the traditional lion dance. Assistant Vice Principal Secretary Ingrid Avila said, “I love how we have all the food here and the dancing; it builds a real sense of community here.”
This Lunar New Year celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, which begins on January 22nd and ends on February 9th, 2024. In Chinese culture, the rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity. Animals play a crucial role in representing the passage of time and the cycle of years during the Spring Festival.
At the event, there were many different kinds of activities, including calligraphy, ceramics, face painting, and ring toss. In addition, the Asian Culture Club sold boba, and a food truck sold bao and other treats.
Lunar New Year is a time to bring family and friends together, even when they are far apart. It also serves as a way to reconnect with one’s culture. Junior Luca Higgins said, “I’m half Chinese and half white, so I get to reconnect with that.”
Junior Katherine De Saram said, “It’s a time for my family to all gather around and just kind of celebrate all our relationships. My family lives in China so I don’t get to see them.”
Stanford Lion Dance Team captain Dwight Hua said, “There’s a super important cultural significance of the lion dance. It’s very important for bringing good fortune in, steering bad spirits away, and welcoming good business.” The performance included two lions in the traditional colors of yellow and red. At times, the lions would interact with the audience by making playful gestures such as fluttering their eyes and tilting their heads. Marie Chu, one of the lion dancers, said, “I really like children’s laughter when I’m under the line,” which was apparent from the fun and outgoing energy emitting from the show.