Thetford Academy Celebrates Chinese New Year
Friday, Feb. 16, marked the lunar New Year and the beginning of the two-week Spring Festival in China, a time when many Chinese return to their hometowns and celebrate by participating in family, regional, and national traditions.
This year at TA, we participated once again in a few of those traditions.
“No Dumplings, no Spring Festival!”
One of the traditional foods associated with Chinese New Year is jiǎozi, a kind of Chinese dumpling. Jiǎozi are said to bring prosperity because their shape is like that of the metal ingots used as dynastic currency, and also because the name sounds similar to a unit of money.
In some parts of China jiǎozi are so important that there’s a saying – “No Dumplings, no Spring Festival!” So, what better way for Thetford Academy’s International Student Program to ring in the Year of the Dog than by eating dumplings!
During Power Hour on Thursday, Feb. 15, Chinese New Year’s Eve, TA students were treated to dumplings and dipping sauce in the Cafe. The dumplings were a big hit, with many adventurous students even mixing their own traditional dipping sauce out of soy sauce, ‘black’ vinegar, and fried chilies in oil.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, the dumpling festivities continued with a dumpling making party! ISP students, families, and friends gathered in TA’s culinary arts classroom to make and eat all variety of dumplings (including a delicious variety with pork sausage brought by the Deffner’s from their own pigs) and enjoy one another’s company.
Spring Festival contains many small celebrations within it, and the final festival is Lantern Fest, which takes places on March 3rd this year. This year we have a beautiful display of lanterns in the library, along with a riddle challenge, another New Year’s tradition in parts of China. Anyone who answers all six riddles correctly will be entered in a drawing for a hóngbāo (red envelope) filled with a special prize. Hong Bao are the traditional gift of the Chinese New Year.
恭喜发财! Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái – Happiness and prosperity to you all as we welcome the Year of the Dog!