Sanfordville students celebrate Lunar New Year with dragon parade


Sanfordville students celebrate Lunar New Year with dragon parade

February 9, 2024

Students in Lorna Nyland and Amanda Undersinger’s classes were studying Lunar New Year this week. Also known as the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, it is an important holiday not only in China, but in Asian communities around the world. The festivities begin tomorrow, Saturday, February 10, marking the first new moon to appear between January 21 and February 20.

The students had a great time learning about Lunar New Year traditions and the history behind them. They read texts together, including The Runaway Wok, by Ying Chang Compestine and Sebastian Serra, The Nian Monster, by Andrea Chang, How to Catch a Dragon, by Adam Wallace, and Ruby’s Chinese New Year, by Vickie Lee. They also read stories about Lunar New Year in Scholastic News.

Students enjoyed learning the folklore behind the popular celebration items like paper lanterns and fireworks, and also the color red; they were said to have scared away the Nian Monster who frightened Chinese villagers on New Year’s Day.

Some other Lunar New Year traditions that the students found interesting are cleaning the home to sweep away the old year, eating long noodles for a long life, and visiting friends and family and giving them oranges for good luck. They were particularly interested in one specific tradition — children receiving red envelopes full of money.

But everyone’s favorite part of celebrating Chinese New Year, of course, is the Dragon Parade! So, the students decided to hold their own.

They worked in small groups, with boundless creativity and enthusiasm, to build their own dragon. It was big enough for multiple students to get inside and control it, and decorated in traditional styles (with some creative spins of their own). 

Then, it was time to parade their creation around the school! The students practiced turn-taking by sharing the important job of leading the parade from within the dragon’s head! Others controlled the body, making the dragon dip and rise as it roamed the halls. There were also percussionists bringing up the tail end of the parade, another traditional part of a Lunar New Year celebration.

Students from every grade level filled the hallways, cheering and smiling as the dragon passed by.

Happy New Year!



If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.