Lunching to Celebrate the Lunar New Year


Students try out cultural asian dishes

George Ma, Staff Writer

As of February 16, the year of the rooster has officially come to a close, marking the start of the Chinese New Year! As many people know, every Chinese New Year is associated with one of the 12 zodiac signs of China, this year being the year of the dog. For Chinese individuals or people of other nationalities who follow the lunar calendar, this moment is a time for celebration, family unity, and appreciation.  

Across families, the Chinese New Year is celebrated in a variety of ways. A few of the most common traditions include wearing bright red clothing, gathering together with close family and friends, preparing and eating traditional Asian delicacies, and gifting red envelopes filled with money to loved ones. When asked about Chinese New Year and the traditions his family goes through, Chinese Club co-head William Lu stated that “every year [he] looks forward to celebrating Chinese New Year with [his] family” and that he and his family “always fold [their] own dumplings together.” Similar to the way most Americans celebrate New Year’s, Asian-Americans also host gatherings and parties to celebrate and start off the new year with each other.  

While Chinese New Year is generally observed in one’s home, the Asian community at PDS gratefully shared some of their festive spirit, culture, and celebration with the Upper School through the annual Lunar New Year lunch, which took place this year on February 14. With signature Asian delicacies such as fried rice, lo mein, egg tarts, dumplings, pork, steamed vegetables, chow mein, and fried dumplings, this event was made possible through the combined efforts of the PDS Chinese Club, the Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Affinity Group, faculty advisors, and several club members’ parents.

Enjoyed and relished by teachers and students, the Chinese New Year’s lunch served as an immersion not only into Chinese culture, but other cultures as well. In an interview with Michelle Leung, co-head of AAPI, Leung noted that she wanted to raise awareness of the fact that “there are a lot of different people of Asian heritage and not just Chinese who celebrate the Lunar New Year in a lot of different places, including the Vietnamese and Korean people.” In order to emphasize this notion, the organizers—unlike in previous years—offered Korean food along with the usual Chinese fare, increasing the variety of the foods provided at the lunar lunch. Unfortunately, however, due to the overwhelming quantity of students who came to eat, the Asian delicacies ran out near the beginning of the lunch period. Next year, the AAPI Club and the Chinese Club plan on bringing even more food than they did this year to give more PDS students and teachers a taste of Asian food and culture.

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