On Tuesday, February 5th, the Lunar New Year was celebrated all over the world in places like China, Vietnam, Korea, and the Holy Spirit elementary campus. Each year, the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School elementary campuses learn about and celebrate the culture, customs, language, and food from a different country in the world. Earlier in the school year, the St. Bede campus studied Spain. At Holy Spirit, the timing could not have been more perfect for teacher Kidd Qu. Mr. Qu, who teaches Mandarin Chinese at all Montgomery Catholic campuses through a partnership with the Confucius Institute at AUM, helped to organize a celebration of the Lunar New Year, an important holiday in China and countries and communities influenced by Chinese diaspora.
While the students already learn about Chinese language and culture as part of their regular enrichment, Cultural Day gave them an opportunity to experience some additional traditions that only take place during new year celebrations. Throughout the day, the students made crafts like lanterns, masks, and fans inspired by the themes around the new year. At the end of the day, all the students gathered in the gym and sang “新年好” (Xīnnián Hǎo Ya), a song to ring in the new year, and played games that tested their knowledge of Chinese language, hanzi characters, geography, and culture. The older students acted out a traditional Chinese wedding and presented a quick fashion show to the school. Ms. Yunjia Yang, an instructor at the Confucius Institute at AUM, demonstrated a traditional Chinese dance. To cap it all off, everyone got to take home bags with unique Chinese snacks, like puffed rice cakes, spicy peas, and different kinds of candies and sweets.