This week, Westridge celebrated Lunar New Year (which falls on January 22 this year and marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit) across campus!

This year the Middle School student government created an educational video explaining the origins and history of Lunar New Year, the traditions and symbols around the celebration, and more. The video was played in all homerooms and advisories on Wednesday, after which the Lower School Student Activities Leadership Council (SALC) then performed a traditional dragon dance, parading from Ranney Court to Ayrshire Courtyard.

In Chinese culture, the dragon dance—a traditional part of the Lunar New Year celebration—is believed to frighten away evil spirits and bad luck, bringing good fortune. The pearl (held by the performer in the front) represents the wisdom the dragon chases throughout the dance. View photos from the performance here and a video here.

Additionally, 8th graders in Middle School Mandarin Teacher Lily Shang’s class created rabbit-shaped, Chinese lanterns in collaboration with STEAMWork Design Coordinator Mick Lorusso. Prior to designing their lanterns, 8th graders researched Chinese lanterns and shared their learning with the rest of the class, Shang said, adding that it was important that students “implement a cultural perspective in their hands-on work.” The class worked in the STEAMWork Design Studio to design and assemble their lanterns, which were laser-cut with balsa wood and painted with red “milk paint,” a nontoxic, eco-friendly paint made of milk protein and lime (part of the STEAMWork Studio’s sustainability initiative).

The Upper School Asian Affinity helped hang the finished lanterns and other Lunar New Year decorations in the breezeway outside the Main Hall. Check out the photos here.

To all those who celebrate, we wish you a happy new year!

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