Carmichael Elementary School rang in the Asian Lunar New Year with a heritage program and food celebration held Feb. 20.
First, a little lesson on Lunar New Year. Many Asians around the world celebrate Lunar New Year. Depending on the country, people celebrate from late January to the middle of February. The dates of the celebration are similar because many countries in Asia interpret the lunar calendar the same way.
Asians celebrate the Lunar New Year in different ways. But all celebrations have one common feature: family reunions. Many families have a New Year’s Eve dinner – the most important holiday dinner in many Asian countries.
“Lunar New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring,” teacher Quyen Nguyen-Brown said. “It’s a time of family reunions, a time for honoring ancestors and it’s a time for gratefulness.“
Carmichael Elementary School really showed its Asian heritage pride. The campus has one of the highest Asian populations in Aldine ISD. In fact, the school has seen an expansion in its Vietnamese bilingual program.
Students and staff decorated the campus with colorful Lunar New Year decorations. And the Asian Heritage Program also proved to be amazing. Students and staff had practiced for weeks. The program included many traditional dances. Many parents attended and even several members from Asian print and TV media.
The program ended with everyone’s favorite performances: the lion and dragon dances. Both students and teachers took part in the closing performances. Students smiled, laughed and cheered as the “lions” and “dragons” moved through the crowd.
“The program has become a tradition at the campus,” teacher Cindy Nguyen said. “It is always wonderful to see so many families and members of the community come out to support this event.“
Everyone also had a chance to enjoy an Asian-themed lunch. Parents and staff members brought homemade dishes or provided monetary donations help campus organizers. Event sponsor Panda Express (12949 S.H. 249; at Wal-Mart) also provided food. Other sponsors included EduTutor and McDonald’s (4919 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. West @ Bammel).
Incidentally, this is the year of the sheep. According to Chinese legend, Buddha asked animals to come to him and 12 arrived. He then designated each of those 12 animals with a calendar year. Each animal has specific characteristics. For example, persons born during the year of the sheep are artistic, charming, sensitive and sweet.
Organizers give a big thanks to everyone who made the event possible.
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