Celebrating 2024's Year of the Dragon

New Canaan High School welcomed the Lunar New Year on Friday, February 9th, with a special celebration in the NCHS Wagner Room. This year represents a special time of celebration, as 2024 marks the year of the dragon, which is a time symbolized by strength, good fortune, wisdom, power, and prosperity. 

To celebrate, our NCHS Mandarin students participated in various activities, including a student-run talent show highlighting different aspects of Chinese culture. Students learned traditional dance routines, read poems, listened to Chinese songs and watched a live streaming of the New Year celebrations in China. They were also able to taste various traditional Chinese dishes and participate in a Chinese calligraphy station, all of which brought to life the culture our students have been learning about. 

A select number of students also participated in the town's own celebration the following weekend, held at the New Canaan Library. There, they presented their rendition of the "Dragon Dance," a traditional dance form where students move a dragon costume composed of a singular piece of fabric to tell a story. In doing so, the students can individually move parts of the body so the final results mimic the movement of a dragon in the air. The dance is often performed during festive occasions like the Lunar New Year to chase away evil spirits and welcome prosperous times. 

For those unfamiliar, the Chinese Lunar New Year is one of China's most important annual holidays, deep-rooted in culture and tradition. The festival signifies the beginning of the spring season and, at a symbolic level, is represented by the induction of one of 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac. Each animal from the Chinese zodiac has its own set of unique characteristics that will guide the year. 

2024 is the year of the dragon, one of the most coveted years in the Chinese zodiac, often representing a time of prosperity, strength, power, and good fortune. Individuals born in the Year of the Dragon are believed to inherit the dragon's characteristics, such as being ambitious, confident, and charismatic. As a result, Dragon years often see a spike in birth rates as parents aim for their children to be born under this symbol, believing it will bring them luck and success throughout their lives. 

Chinese New Year Celebration at New Canaan Library