GHS Students Celebrate the Lunar New Year


Photo: Flickr

Lunar New Year celebration featuring a traditional lion dance performace

Kate Wang, Reporter

Brightly glowing lanterns, colorfully ornamented lion and dragon symbols, and lucky red firecrackers festooned the Bay Area in its annual Lunar New Year celebrations. For many East and Southeast Asian cultures, it is a time to reunite with family and share gifts, red envelopments, and food. In Livermore, Las Positas College and Livermore Valley Arts collaborated to organize a Lunar New Year celebration at the Bankhead Theater. From Xiaopei Chinese Dance to the iconic dragon and lion dances, incredible showcases of talent and celebrations of culture were on display last Sunday (Jan. 22) as students rang in the Year of the Rabbit. 

Starting with a Tai Chi demonstration by Richard Cheng, audience members were encouraged to slow down and be present in the moment, recharging both their minds and their bodies. Dancers from Xiaopei Chinese Dance wowed the crowds with their brightly colored gowns and fluid movements as the plaza filled with the melodies of traditional instruments like the zither and Chinese flute.  The martial arts troupe of KungFu Dragon USA performed a lion dance to bring luck and prosperity to us in the new year. Lastly, the event was closed out by classical Indian dance medleys by Shanmukha Theaters and Asian Creatives Open Mic. 

At this event, Granada High students from the Asian American Club on campus added to the festivities through their cultural display. Michelle Lee, the president, and other members headed a booth in Bankhead Plaza where they helped children make paper lanterns. 

Meanwhile, Annie Kuang was in San Francisco visiting family. Family is a huge part of Lunar New Year and Chinese culture, stating that she “had a huge family gathering and toured family members’ houses with gifts and red envelopes.”

As Lunar New Year is going on, the Vietnamese holiday known as Tết Nguyên Đán also celebrates the start of the Vietnamese New Year. Their zodiac animals are slightly different, as Vietnamese culture welcomes the Year of the Cat. Angel Le, a Vietnamese student at Granada, says she went to Vietnam Town in San Jose to visit family and blessed the house for the new year using holy water and doing prayers around the house.

Lunar New Year is an essential celebration in the culture of Asian American students, the vivid colors of the festival reflecting the vibrant diversity in our community.