WHS to hold Lunar New Year celebration


Credit: Courtesy of Nan Li

Pictured above are dancers performing traditional Chinese dance.

Lindsay Adelman and Gage Fuller

On Sunday, Jan. 30 from 2 pm to 5 pm, WHS will host many Lunar New Year activities, including arts and crafts, tea ceremonies and a Chinese folk performance preceding the actual Lunar New Year on Feb. 8.

According to Celebration Director Nan Li, many different Asian cultures of people come to celebrate the Lunar New Year at WHS to welcome the holiday. Li’s goal is to incorporate not just the Chinese community, but the whole community, so all of Wayland is welcome to come and enjoy the festivities at WHS.

“We try to make more connections between the Chinese language and culture with our multicultural community. Wayland Public Schools, five school PTOs and the town of Wayland cosponsored our last year events,” Li said. “It will be our third year to celebrate the peace, joy and love together.”

Last year, more than 400 people arrived to watch the traditional Chinese folk performance, enjoy the arts and crafts and taste traditional Asian food. Li called last year’s performances and activities “world class” and “fun for the whole family.”

According to Li, WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi and Assistant Principal Scott Parseghian showed their support for the event. Also, foreign language department head Melissa Bryant, Mandarin teacher Annie Cao and Chinese exchange program director Donna Fong brought the students of the high school Mandarin program to the event as performers, ushers and volunteers.

“Two of my students are honored to be MCs, so they are going to introduce the program. It will be really good for their presentational skills,” Cao said. “They will also use both languages, English and Mandarin.”

Two of Cao’s students will also be helping out with the arts and crafts tables at the celebration to give curious kids, teens and adults advice on how to improve their artwork.

According to Li, the event started out as a celebration purely for the Chinese community, so almost all of the people that attended were of Chinese descent. As the Asian population grew in the last 10 years, Wayland Middle School and Wayland High School started Mandarin programs four years ago, and the Wayland Chinese American Association initiated this town-wide Lunar New Year celebration in Wayland High School on January, 2014.

The zodiac animal to be celebrated in the coming year is the monkey. Because of this, children will be cutting out monkey bookmarks and monkey pictures during the celebration on Jan. 30.

“As for the year of the monkey, we don’t really do anything special, but it is my daughter’s year so I, personally, will make her birthday celebration a little better than usual,” Cao said.

It is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Children under the age of five years old are free, and the family maximum is $25.