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Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon

Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon

By Ya-Ching Chang, Academic Dean, Chinese Program

The Lunar New Year holds a significant place in the history of Silicon Valley International School (INTL), tracing back to the inception of our Chinese Language Program in 1996. This year's celebration held a unique significance for INTL, as 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon.

Upper School assembly with their hand painted Year of the Dragon banner.

In the Chinese zodiac, the dragon embodies qualities of nobility, good fortune, kindness, and mercy. As our school’s mascot is a dragon, our dedicated faculty, staff, students, and parents put in tremendous effort to ensure that this Lunar New Year celebration was truly exceptional.

Dragons, revered and celebrated in various cultures and stories worldwide, hold a special place in the hearts of all three of our language programs: Chinese, French, and German. Our mascot, INDY, is a dragon that transcends cultural boundaries, incorporating elements from both Eastern and Western dragon mythologies. INDY the Dragon aptly reflects the diverse and inclusive nature of our school's language programs.

Early Years students playing with dragon masks.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated and observed throughout Asia, including China, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and many more places. The Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and lasts for 15 days until the first full moon.

INTL was happy to bring live performers to both our campuses to delight our community with lion dances. This year’s performers showcased the impressive high-pole lion dance style. The lion dance brings good luck, good fortune, and all the good things for the upcoming year. People perform lion dances at Chinese festivals or big occasions to bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits. The lion dance is one of the most important traditions at Lunar New Year.

Elementary students playing traditional games during the festivities.

Also, on New Year’s Day, family members traditionally receive 紅包 (hóng bāo or red envelopes) containing small amounts of money. This year, the PTA thoughtfully arranged for every student to get a 紅包 containing a special edition INTL Lunar New Year vinyl sticker featuring a special INDY Year of the Dragon design. This design is also featured on a limited-edition INDY Year of the Dragon t-shirt that has been made available to our community.

Two elementary students posing, one wearing the limited edition Year of the Dragon tshirt.

The INTL celebration also included special Lunar New Year photo booths, student-designed banners, delectable desserts, and engaging activities throughout February. Students across all grades and language programs took part in Lunar New Year-themed activities, including traditional games, calligraphy work, and origami.

Upper School students working on their caligraphy.

A special thanks to our event chairs, Julie Shen and Karen Tsai, for their extraordinary efforts to make this celebration a truly dragon-worthy event.

** INDY was named by two students - Jordan C., a Chinese Program student (in 1st Grade at the time) and Noemi L., a German Program student (in 2nd Grade at the time).

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