Image Credits: Celine Chien
On February 9th, a collaboration of multiple clubs at M-A such as Multicultural Leadership, Asian Culture, and Chinese Culture clubs held its Lunar New Year celebration. Many students flocked to the Green during lunch and after school to experience the fun activities, delicious food, and wonderful lion dance, martial arts, and traditional Chinese instrument performances.
This year’s Lunar New Year celebration was organized by the Chinese Culture Club, Asian Culture Club, and Intercultural Leadership class. Throughout the event, students competed in tug-of-war, and also did sugar painting, calligraphy, and paper cutting. Students painted and decorated ceramic fortune cookie and red envelope sculptures at M-A’s Ceramics classes’ table, bought bracelets and ice cream, and even made small clay dragon figurines.
On top of the many festivities, the event offered many food options like tanghulu, popcorn chicken, and boba, which was the popular choice among students and staff alike as the line filled up as soon as the event started. Among the sea of people waiting to buy boba, sophomore James Anderson said, “Being here after school gives me the chance to collaborate with fellow students and make friends.”
The event included multiple performances celebrating different cultures. The first performance was the Lion Dance, which was conducted by the Stanford Lion Dance Team. The Lion Dance is a staple of all Lunar New Year celebrations, as it’s believed the performance brings prosperity and good luck. The dancers brought colorful costumes depicting the lion and danced to the loud beat of the drums throughout the Green. One of the dancers, Daisy Wang, has been Lion dancing for ten years. “It’s wonderful to always be able to spread our joy and love of the Lion Dance to communities around us,” she said. “This is our second year at M-A and it’s always been a wonderful time to be here.”
In addition to the Lion Dances, sophomores Milo Kroh, Jasmine Johnson, and Viet Tran Do performed the erhu, dizi, and guzheng respectively, which are traditional Chinese instruments. The music was very soothing and added to the atmosphere of the event. “It’s fun because usually not a lot of people are exposed to traditional Chinese instruments,” said Kroh. Johnson added, “I feel like this hopefully will get more people interested.”
One of the concluding performances of the festival was a martial arts demonstration by Aaron Michael Schwartz, a longtime martial artist and head coach of Wu Kong Martial Arts in San Jose. Schwartz and his partner demonstrated tai-chi to M-A, and his fluid yet fierce motions mixed with the beautiful backing track gave off a serene feeling that gave a perfect ending to the event. This is Schwartz’s first time performing for M-A and it was a very welcome one. “I would love to collaborate more,” he said.
While students mainly attended the event, teachers and staff also joined in on the celebration. Such as Math teacher Bobby Wong, who was seen handing out candies to students during the event. One notable attendee was Principal Karl Losekoot, who was seen interacting with community members and staff. He expressed his satisfaction with this festival and coordination with clubs. “Our clubs have done a fantastic job of celebrating the Lunar New Year,” he said. “What’s great is just seeing all the kids out here, having fun and enjoying the cultural experience.”