Middle School

Learning through Celebration

February is an exciting time in the Mandarin World Language Pathway class as we celebrate the most important holiday in Chinese culture! It is filled with good wishes, laughter, and deliciousness as we integrate all aspects of the Lunar New Year in our unit—“My Cultural Celebration”—through hands-on activities.

Students are learning about traditional symbolic foods of LNY, and the meanings and well-wishes behind each food. For example, eating fish is important during LNY because fish (鱼) has the same sound as abundance (余). 年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú) means to wish the new year of abundance. Students are practicing how to greet each other, make dumplings, and wish each other continuously making progress (步步高升bù bù gāo shēng) by trying Chinese traditional rice cake (年糕 nián gāo). Students also practiced writing, learning well-wishes in calligraphy to bring home good health and wealth.

Lastly, it is customary for families to gather on LNY eve and celebrate together. Kids are allowed to stay up through midnight for longevity. In class, the students also learned some traditional fun activities which are designed to involve everyone during the family reunions on LNY eve. This is the first time WLP students got together to celebrate LNY and we all had a blast learning about culture, costume and of course, food!