Millbrook’s Mandarin speakers have been preparing to welcome the Lunar New Year by learning about traditional celebrations and customs. Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and in many other Asian cultures. The timing of the festival is based on the appearance of the first new moon of the lunar calendar and lasts until the moon is full, 15 days later.
2021 is the year of the Ox in the Chinese Zodiac, which associates animals with calendar years in a 12-year cycle. The animals of the Chinese Zodiac are said to have different attributes and tendencies and the Ox is thought to be a strong and steady creature, able to maintain a serene disposition in challenging circumstances. It feels hopeful and reassuring to celebrate the year of the Ox in 2021.
Lunar New Year traditions are centered around the honoring of ancestors and the giving of gifts to maintain health and happiness, and to inspire good luck in the new year. Mandarin instructor Wei Guo has been spreading good wishes and gifts wrapped in red, a lucky color, to classrooms around campus. Mr. Guo’s students have been teaching fellow Mustangs how to deliver greetings in Mandarin and rewarding accurate pronunciation with snack bar gift cards.
Casertano Hall has been decorated and will host a celebratory Lunar New Year feast featuring dumplings, vegetarian spring rolls, braised shiitake mushrooms, oranges, and tangerines.