Global Awareness

Festivity in Red and Gold

Written by Rachel Blythe and Thuy Nguyen (Class of 2022)

Photographed by Jocelyn He, Raven Li (Class of 2020), Rachel Blythe, and Thuy Nguyen (Class of 2022)

It is the time of the year where everything is adorned in brilliant red and tables start to fill with delightful customary foods. Chinese New Year is a traditional celebration that captures the splendid sense of welcoming and festivity.

This year, on January 24, the Girls’ School began their Chinese New Year event with the making of dumplings and stuffed tofu. Lively music filled the dining hall as the spirited students put their hands to work. After meal offering, the students made their way to the Tower of Blessings, where they delivered heartwarming New Year greetings to the elderly nuns and sang traditional songs cheerfully.

After students enjoyed the palatable dumplings and meal prepared by the wonderful kitchen staff, they congregated in the IITBT building for the next exciting course of activities. For the activities hosted by the sophomore class, the students were first grouped with their school sisters. School sisters are pairs or trios of students that include at least one older student (grades 10-12), a system that promotes interclass bonding.

This year, the Girls’ School also invited the 5th graders from River Oak Charter School to the Chinese New Year Celebration for a sharing of cultures and eight activity booths hosted by the sophomore class.

First, the students were greeted by teacups and fragrant aromas at the Chinese Tea Ceremony booth that presented the art of traditional tea brewing. 

Then, the students arrived at a booth where they learned upbeat Chinese New Year songs. With festive tunes bustling in the air, enthusiasm filled the students.

The third booth was Chinese Paper Cutting, where the students carefully cut out shapes and Chinese words from red paper and constructed mini lanterns. 

Next, the students dug into appetizing snacks. The sophomores also introduced the history of traditional Chinese New Year food, which consisted of homemade radish cake, pineapple tarts, spring rolls, and tangerines. 

Moving on, the students learned about Chinese taboos and cultural customs. For example, sweeping the floor during the first day of the New Year would sweep away good blessings. 

After that, the students dressed up in traditional Chinese attire for photos at the photobooth, which was designed by the sophomores with red banners and lanterns. 

The students then watched videos that explained the origin of the Chinese New Year celebration and told the story of the twelve Chinese zodiacs. 

Lastly, the students listened to Chinese folktales, such as the story of Nian – the monster that feared the color red.

Full of joy and laughter, the students returned home in high spirits, concluding this year’s Chinese New Year Celebration.

Many thanks to Heng Fu Shr, Jin Jr Shr, and the devoted kitchen staff for helping with preparations! Thank you to the 5th graders from River Oak Charter School for joining us in the Chinese New Year celebration!