Arts and Culture




When the American New Year rolls around on Jan. 1, many families celebrate the end of the holiday season with fireworks, dinners, and get-togethers. However, for Chinese-American children, the start of the new calendar isn’t an end at all—it’s a beginning. For the next month and a half, we eagerly await the week of festivities and gift-giving that is Chinese New Year.

Between the end of January and the first days of February, Chinese families bring out bins of red decorations, mass-purchased ingredients, and they prepare extravagant dinners.

Days before, my family will decorate with red banners and posters emblazoned with the upside-down    . Each word represents wealth and prosperity. Freshman Annika Duan’s family hangs up red lanterns and Chinese paintings on the walls.

However, most Chinese families living in America don’t decorate much because of the holiday’s reduced presence.

One of the most appealing aspects is the food. On Chinese New Year, the tables are piled high with dumplings, cakes, spring rolls, fish, and various other lavish Chinese dishes.

“In China, my grandparents would make dinner for our family, but in America, we eat hot pot,” freshman Angela Yao said.

During the night, families will watch the Chinese New Year comedy show on TV. The show features a premier line-up of the most illustrious comedians, actors, talk show hosts, and magicians in China, who  congregate to perform skits and tell jokes.

“It’s one of my favorite things of the holiday,” freshman Katherine Han said. “It always brings so much laughter to us.”

Everybody also cherishes the red envelopes, which are filled with money and passed out to children.

Out of every Chinese person surveyed for this article, all of them included “lucky money” as a reason for enjoying this holiday.

Even though this is the standard Chinese New Year celebration, different families have different traditions.

“We prepare the food while watching the New Year’s gala, then we eat,” junior Rosaline Qi said. “Back when I lived in China, we also used to go out into the yard and light firecrackers in the snow. [Chinese New Year] is a really important part of my culture, and I have a lot of very fond memories of the holiday.”

Many countries have begun to consider Chinese New Year an official holiday, and many students feel that Pinewood should take part in celebrating this event.

As a school that prides itself on embracing difference, Pinewood’s upper campus could accommodate different cultures by initiating themed spirit days or school potlucks.



ing, leaving viewers on a cliffhanger.

“It was really entertaining, and you [had] to think about it. It [was] not just dumb humor. It [was] really interesting,” sophomore Laura Marsland said.

It’s no surprise that the last performance of “Rumors” was a packed house, and director Doug Eivers had nothing but positive things to say.

“Another great crowd, another great show. The kids did fantastic,”
Eivers said.