Falcons celebrate Lunar New Year

Shaan Dhutia and Preston Herleth

Red lanterns hung from the ceiling. Traditional food and snacks laid out on trays. Students gathered around laughing and playing games. The year of the tiger has begun.

In this month of February, students from the Chinese Club gathered in the Commons to set up a Lunar New Year festival for all the Upper School to enjoy. They set up traditional decorations and snacks, and the Commons was filled with tables with games and activities. The spirit of the Chinese new year was in the air. 

With roots almost four thousand years ago in the ancient Shang Dynasty, Lunar New Year is about spending time with family and sharing blessings and prosperity with loved ones. The holiday begins with the rise of the second new moon after the winter solstice. East Asian families celebrate with games, food and family time. 

A popular game during the event was Jián Zi, also known as shuttlecock. In shuttlecock, students kicked a feather-covered hacky-sack in an attempt to keep it from hitting the ground.

“It’s harder than it looks, and it really brings out the competitive spirit in me,” freshman David Liu said. 

At Mandarin teacher Ms. Paula Lin’s table, students practiced Chinese calligraphy and learned how to write Chinese characters. They learned about the rich history of Chinese writing, dating back to the ancient Shang Dynasty over 3,000 years ago.

Another station was for chopstick races. Students learned proper chopstick etiquette and competed against one another in a race to move ornamental boats using only chopsticks. 

“My favorite event was the chopstick challenge,” junior Jaisal Kalapatapu said. “I also enjoyed learning about Eastern culture.”

 Kōng zhong, or Chinese yo-yo, was most popular among students. It is made of two cups and is spun using a string attached to two hand sticks. Students and teachers showed off their tricks with the yo-yo.

“I really enjoyed the event,” Liu said. “It was a great way to celebrate our diversity here at Kinkaid and teach people about the rich East Asian culture.”