Mandarin Chinese language immersion schools were filled with energy, excitement, and fun activities the last two weeks as they celebrated the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog. There was a Chinese New Year family dinner, New Year celebrations, dragon dances, music, and more. At Meadow Brook Elementary, they hosted their annual Chinese New Year and Spring Festival. The entire building celebrated through cultural performances and traditional Chinese martial arts, cultural games, and arts and crafts. Northern Trails 5/6 School celebrated by making 2,000 dumplings, among other festivities. Northern Hills Middle School made fortune cookies, festive paper lanterns, and the students created their own Chinese New Year game show. Northern High School ninth-grade students made red envelopes, which they decorated with Chinese calligraphy, filled with candy, and delivered to teachers. They also made dumplings and performed a traditional dragon dance. FHPS is home to a vibrant and growing Mandarin Chinese language immersion program beginning in kindergarten. The program began in 2008 and provides a rich academic, linguistic, and cultural experience for students.
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the New Year is 4715 – Year of the Dog. The annual Chinese Spring Festival lasts 15 days – beginning on New Year’s day (which was Friday, February 16, this year) and ending with the Lantern Festival (Friday, March 2nd, this year). The dates of the holiday shift each year, due to the fact that they are based on the lunar calendar, not our solar calendar system. Also, many other Asian cultures celebrate Lunar New Year as well, including Korean, Vietnamese, & Filipino.