Scroll down to view a video of Lunar New Year student performances. Click here to view the Lunar New Year photo album.
By Darryl Gangloff
The Hotchkiss community welcomed the Year of the Rabbit during a series of Lunar New Year events that highlighted Asian cultures through delicious food, fun activities, and impressive performances.
From its origins as an afternoon dumpling-making session, these School festivities have expanded into a popular multiple-day annual tradition thanks to the dedication of students, parents, faculty, and staff.
The festivities kicked off on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when a group of students and volunteers crafted dozens of red lanterns to hang in the center of campus. In Asian cultures, red symbolizes good luck, joy, prosperity, happiness, and a long life.
Students shared what Lunar New Year means to them during Chapel on Thursday, Jan. 19, and Monday, Jan. 23. These events were organized by Aurora Zhang ’24 and featured reflections by Remy Lee ’26, Keira Dwan ’24, and Annie Dong ’23.
The community headed to the Dining Hall on Saturday, Jan. 21, and enjoyed a feast of dumplings, egg rolls, noodles, and more. Hotchkiss is grateful for the parents who provided wonderful food for the menu.
"During Lunar New Year in Thailand, I gather with my extended family and have dinner together. Adults normally give children red packets filled with money and we all wear red to show the new year spirit," said Ken Matanachai '24, whose favorite Lunar New Year food is dumplings.
"I return to my dad's childhood village located in the countryside, which we don't visit often, and spend the first half of the day going to temples. Then we have family dinner," said Megan Wei '23, who enjoys steamed fish.
The Lunar New Year holiday fell on Sunday, Jan. 22. The Student Center was bustling with activity throughout the evening thanks to organizer Mike Xu '24 and members of the Chinese Club, the Korea Club, and the Asian Culture Club. Attendees practiced calligraphy, grabbed microphones for karaoke in Asian languages, ate snacks, played a variety of games, and even solved puzzles in a Lunar New Year-themed escape room. As a light snow began to fall, everyone made their way outside to light sparklers with the red lanterns glowing behind them.
The All-School meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, featured singing, dancing, and instrumental performances by talented Bearcats—including an exciting lion dance. Watch a recording below. “Thanks for making this Lunar New Year a memorable one,” said Isabella Wei ’23, who organized the All-School celebration. “I’m really appreciative for how much support we get as a student body to celebrate.”