Twirling sparklers, endless trays of dumplings, and a crazy chopstick competition were all part of the two-day Lunar New Year celebration at Hotchkiss. The School marked the start of the Year of the Tiger with a series of activities, beginning with a Lunar New Year feast in the Dining Hall on Jan. 31, followed by games and activities in the Student Center. Dozens of red lanterns were strung in front of Main Building, where students capped off the evening's celebration by lighting sparklers at the outdoor fire pits. Students, staff, and faculty members had an opportunity to learn more about the different Asian countries that celebrate Lunar New Year through a variety of hands-on activities, including painting Chinese characters, competing in a race to pick up marbles with chopsticks, posing for photos in traditional Asian dress, and testing their knowledge with a trivia quiz and a Chinese Zodiac game.
“For me the most exciting part of the School celebration is seeing people who are not familiar with our culture trying activities that are totally new to them and seeing their faces light up. In the Dining Hall, people were tasting authentic Korean or Chinese food that they may have never had before. To me, that’s really exciting,” says Marcus Lam '22, who hails from Hong Kong.
On Feb.1, the official date of the Lunar New Year holiday, the community gathered in Elfers Hall to enjoy stunning performances by members of the Peking Opera as well as music and dance performances by students. Three internationally renowned artists, Jiǎ Yǒnghóng, Zhōu Yì, and Miào Yīmín performed a range of traditional music and dance, some of which date back to the16th century. Hotchkiss students in full costumes and makeup played a role in one of the Peking Opera's dance performances. Another group of students learned how to play Chinese percussion instruments during an impromptu concert on stage.
Pianist Oliver Chen '22 played a Chinese folk song, several Bearcats sang a hilarious rap song, and a group of Hotchkiss girls gave their interpretation of the holiday through a dance.
"From a parent perspective, it was wonderful to join with the Hotchkiss community to support and share the special Lunar New Year celebration. We are grateful to the many parents, students, faculty and staff that made the event a success," said Lucy Lu P'25.