Ringing in the Year of the Tiger

As Lunar New Year approaches, Asian and Asian American students and faculty are preparing to celebrate the Year of the Tiger — and to share this important holiday with the larger community.

The Lunar New Year is a major cultural holiday in China, Korea and most Asian countries. This year ushers in the Year of the Tiger, an animal that symbolizes power, wealth and fortune.

For the School’s East Asian boarding students, celebrating the holiday far away from home doesn’t mean letting go of traditions.
 
For Luqi Luke Zhu ’22, International Club co-president, the countdown clock in Cushing Dorm will be set for 7:00 a.m. Monday, January 31, aka Lunar New Year’s Eve. That’s when Zhu and his friends will tune in to watch “CCTV New Year’s Gala,” a popular Chinese variety show that, according to Guinness World Records, is the world’s most-watched television program. “It is quite common for most Chinese households to watch the show during their celebration,” Zhu explained. “It typically involves music, dance, comedy and drama performances.”

Zhu is also looking forward to connecting with family. “We will be able to FaceTime our family members back home and share the joyful moment together with them since family reunions are central to the celebration,” he said. “It's the most festive day of the entire year, so celebrating on the actual day is very important.” 

International Club Co-President Haoqing Sunny Shi ’22 and her roommate Anji Lee ’22 are both excited for the holiday. “It’s a chance for us to celebrate, relax, and actually be a part of our family back in China or Korea and any place that has a time difference,” Shi said. 

While Shi will miss having her favorite home-cooked meal of roast chicken, a dish that’s popular in the southern region of China where she grew up, she is looking forward to sharing a special takeout dinner from a local Asian restaurant with fellow boarders. 

“As people from all over the world reunite with their families at this time of the year, we reflect upon our past experiences and rejuvenate ourselves with the biggest feast of the year, preparing to embark on another adventurous journey in the upcoming new year,” Zhu said.

The festivities continue through the week. In the Middle School, students and faculty also will have the opportunity to learn about Lunar New Year. Students studying Mandarin will make presentations about the importance of this holiday to their peers during the division’s Morning Meeting on Friday, February 4. 

The Upper School International Club and Chinese Culture Club members are hosting a Lunar New Year celebration for the Masters community on Tuesday, February 1, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sharon Room in the Fonseca Center. On tap for the special event: learning Chinese calligraphy, making bracelets, sharing red envelopes, performing karaoke songs and enjoying traditional Asian snacks. Notes Dean of Global Studies Rob Fish, “Being part of a global family is a highlight of being a member of the Masters community.”