At Syosset’s Village Elementary School last week, the students were a little more excited at lunch time than usual. It was the school’s annual Lunar New Year Lunch celebration to commemorate the Year of the Horse.
The Chinese New Year took place on Jan. 31. In China, the celebration lasts a lot longer than the day itself, from Chinese New Year’s Eve—Jan. 30 through the Lantern Festival on Feb.15. During the Lantern Festival, Chinese children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns.
In honor of this, Village Elementary’s cafeteria and hallways were decorated with traditional paper lanterns and streamers.
Students feasted on chicken with broccoli, rice, an egg roll, and fortune cookies. The Village Ensemble, under the leadership of music teacher Mrs. Carrella, entertained at the end of each lunch period. They performed renditions of Gong Xi Gong Xi, which is a traditional Chinese New Year song, and Bach’s Country Fiddle.
Over at the Jericho Public Library, children with their parents, grandparents and caregivers also celebrated the Year of the Horse. China Patterns was performed in full traditional Chinese costumes by the New York Chinese Cultural Center.
The audience was introduced to Chinese culture through language lessons, historical background, onstage demonstrations and audience interaction.
The diversity of dance selections, authentic costumes, props and narration illustrated and explained traits, customs and patterns of Chinese life.
The celebration will continue at Syosset Public Library on Feb. 9 when art collector Ivy Chang, former Executive Director of the Chinese Association of the Town of Oyster Bay, shares her love of Chinese culture and tradition through a presentation on Chinese traditional art, antiques, paintings, vases, scrolls and more from 2-3:30 p.m.