Clubs celebrate the Year of the Rabbit


Photos by Alyssa Wang, Eileen Zhu and Chelsea Lee. Graphic illustrations by Ashley Huang and Calvin Zhou.

NCHS, ArtReach and CSF hosted various events and crafted traditional decorations and toys, uniting students through Chinese culture.

Alyssa Wang and Eileen Zhu

Red couplets, golden lanterns and firecrackers mark the beginning of Lunar New Year. Lynbrook clubs, including National Chinese Honor Society, ArtReach and California Scholarship Federation hosted various events to celebrate the popular holiday. By crafting traditional decorations and making toys, they brought students together through Chinese culture.


NCHS creates traditional lunar new year decorations

Celebrating the Lunar New Year has been a savored tradition of NCHS for years. As a club focused on Chinese culture, celebrating the new year and its traditions is integral. Last year, the club hosted a Chinese New Year potluck where members shared traditional dishes and treats. This year, officers instead taught members how to make traditional decorations and crafts in club meetings leading up to the special day.

“We wanted to try something else, and we thought that making decorations is much more of a learning opportunity and more hands on,” junior and NCHS officer Vivian Chen said. “It was nice that more people could actually participate rather than just come for food.”

On Jan. 13, members practiced brush calligraphy and made 春聯 (chūnlián), a traditional decoration of rectangular or diamond-shaped red paper with lucky Chinese idioms written in brush calligraphy. They are typically hung on doors or around door frames as a way to scare away the dangerous mythical dragon, 年獸 (nián shòu) and express wishes for the new year. Students wrote a variety of wishes, including 福 (fú), meaning good fortune; 壽 (shòu), meaning longevity; and 健康( jiànkāng), meaning health.

“Being able to make the 春聯 (chūnlián) was fun and a new experience for me,” sophomore and NCHS member Alexis Luo said. “It was very interesting and informative, and I was able to keep mine and hang it up at home for the New Year.”

In a continuation of the festivities on Jan. 20, members cut red paper in intricate designs and assembled them into ornaments that represent vitality. This craft is called 剪紙 (jiǎnzhǐ), which directly translates to “cutting paper” and is popularly used to decorate homes. Club members traced 春 (chūn), a character meaning spring, as the design for their ornaments to symbolize the beginning of spring and the new opportunities that come with it.

“All the members had fun, and it was a great chance for NCHS members to do some traditional Chinese activities,” sophomore and NCHS treasure Brigitte Au said. “It was nice that we were able to celebrate Chinese culture by displaying our projects in classrooms.”


CSF and Artreach host booths at John Muir Elementary

On Jan. 27, John Muir Elementary School held its first Lunar New Year Celebration fundraiser for the Chinese Language Immersion Program. Complete with a traditional lion dance, drum performances, craft and game booths and food trucks, it was a successful event that hundreds of students and parents attended.

“We were very happy that a lot of families came out to celebrate. It’s a time of togetherness, family, friends and celebrating,” said Loretta Lu, director of John Muir’s Lunar New Year Celebration. “I hope the students can learn about the cultures and history of the fun games and activities to bring American and Chinese cultures together.”

Members of Lynbrook CSF ran the concession stand at John Muir’s Lunar New Year celebration, where they sold traditional Chinese snacks like pineapple cake as well as general party staples such as chips and glow sticks.

“I really liked volunteering at John Muir because I remember attending similar events when I was younger at my elementary school, so it was nice to be a part of making the vent happen for other kids,” junior Ava Tse said.

Artreach volunteers hosted two booths to teach John Muir’s students how to make traditional Chinese toys: Chinese rattle drums, used to make noise in rituals and music; and shuttlecocks or 毽子 (jiànzi), meant to be played by kicking it up with the player’s feet. The Chinese Rattle Drum is a traditional percussion instrument that originated in the Song Dynasty and is now often recreated in a miniature and simple form. Although often used by street vendors to make noise and attract the attention of customers, they are more commonly known as children’s toys. 

At one booth, Artreach members led children in crafting their own rattle drums with mailing tubes, skewers, beads, string and cardstock paper. They glued cardstock and a part of a mailing tube to form the drum body and used a skewer as the handle. The children then attached beads with string to either side of the drum body so that the beads hit alternating sides of the drum when the handle is spun, making the drumming noise. 

At the second booth, members of Artreach taught students how to make their own shuttlecocks toys, or 毽子 (jiànzi). 毽子 (jiànzi) is a popular Chinese game originating in the Han dynasty, meant to be played like hacky sack. The longer children are able to keep the weighted shuttlecock in the air by juggling it with their feet, the better they are at the game. 

“I really enjoyed helping the kids make the toys,” sophomore Qia Zhang said. “I hope they had a lot of fun and that they are able to take away good memories from this event.”

Artreach also sold premade 毽子 (jiànzi) for students who wanted to play the game but did not want to make the shuttlecocks.  

Through NCHS, ArtReach and CSF, students at Lynbrook were able to partake in this ancient holiday while immersing themselves in Chinese culture.