Pinewood Celebrates Lunar New Year

Mei Miyahara, Features Writer

   K-12 Pinewood families from Grades K-12 celebrated Lunar New Year at Pinewood Upper Campus on January 28, with food and crafts stalls, lion dancing, acrobatics, and other performances by the Upper Campus Mandarin classes. Lunar New Year—mainly celebrated in China and other Asian countries like Vietnam and South Korea—starts and ends with the first new and full moons of the lunar calendar. Many Pinewood community members have celebrated this event since a young age.

   “I remember growing up in the US and in Canada, and having to celebrate Lunar New Year in Chinatown, with parades and firecrackers,” Anne Wong, Pinewood’s director of alumni and community engagement said. “I think it’s always important [to celebrate], because it’s part of my heritage.”

   The first hour of the celebration was full of performances. This year, Master Liu, the main performer, had an incredible performance, involving a beautiful lion and dragon costume, acrobatics, and audience members of all ages volunteering, dancing along with the performance, and chanting words in Mandarin. Pinewood Mandarin classes also took part in the performances; Mandarin 1A acted out a skit, complete with props and puppets, and Mandarin 4 sang “Gong Xi Gong Xi”. 

   Many different stations opened during the second hour as well. The crafts and games tables included Chinese paper cutting, calligraphy, lantern making, origami rabbits, Vietnamese Lotto, and Jegi Chagi, a Korean game where players kick the Korean shuttlecock jegi around in the air. 

   Some of the foods offered at the food stalls run by parent and student volunteers were fried sesame balls, spring rolls, potstickers, Vietnamese xio, pandan arils, Vietnamese tea, and Korean sikhye and yakgwa.

“When we organize Asian celebrations, we have a lot of volunteers who want to pass on their knowledge and their traditions,” Wong said.”

   This year’s celebration was an incredible success, with a large part of the Pinewood community coming together to celebrate the important customs and traditions of this Asian holiday. Full of great stalls and entertainment, this was a fun yearly event perfect for Panthers of all ages. Happy Lunar New Year, Pinewood!