Celebrating the Year of the Pig!
The launch of LE’s continent study of Asia coincided with the Lunar New Year, providing a wonderful opportunity for three parents—Emiko, Wei, and Alison—to share different elements and traditions of this important holiday. Wei began by providing a general introduction to the Lunar New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival. The celebration typically begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later.
Wei shared that foods like dumplings, spring rolls, and wontons are feasted on as part of the New Year, as they’re thought to bring good luck. Another custom is that parents give red envelopes to their children filled with “lucky” money (and LE students even got their own lucky red envelopes). Alison then walked the students through the Chinese Zodiac classification system that assigns an animal to each year in a 12-year cycle. We learned that 2019 is the year of the pig, and the students were excited to figure out what animal (and related characteristics) represented their birth years. Many of the Lower Elementary students were tigers, rabbits, and dragons!
Emiko taught us about Daruma Dolls, Japanese dolls that are a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them popular during the New Year when many people set their resolutions. She shared a book called Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll, which is set in ancient Japan and tells the story behind the famous Daruma Doll.
In Lower Elementary, we’re always excited to learn about the holidays and religious and cultural traditions observed by our students’ families. The presentation inspired many questions and even some follow-up research on the Lunar New Year and the Zodiac system.
By Ms. Kent