The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey, began on February 8, 2016. The celebration kicked off with a visit from painter Colby Dahistrom, who led students in drawing monkeys. In keeping with a Saint Ann’s tradition, students worked on writing calligraphy with Mr. Zhang Jiaxuan, a well known calligrapher in New York. Last, but not the least, our middle school students were given an introduction to martial arts by Mr. Howard Latting.
This year we also collaborated with Puppetry teacher Olga Okuneva to create a Chinese New Year puppet show. Olga wrote a play about a dragon and a little girl, Meiling, and how they became friends. Senior class students translated the play into Chinese, and freshmen students performed the play/puppet show in three different classes together with Olga’s three classes. It was a fun and successful first collaboration with the puppetry studio!
Chinese New Year celebrations usually last for fifteen days according to the lunar calendar. On the 15th of the lunar month, also called Lantern Festival, Chinese people celebrate the first full moon of the year. The festivities include children making and playing with lanterns, adults guessing riddles, and families eating sweet dumplings to end the traditional two-week celebration. The New Year starts with sweetness, and spring is not too far away.