The Lunar New Year Festival, which starts with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends with the first full moon of the calendar, is a celebration steeped in history and legend. Historically, this was a time to honor ancestors and the deities and often involved the bringing together of families for a feast. Legend has it that there was a mythical beast, Nian, that would come out on Lunar New Year's Day. To ward of this evil, villagers would make noise and put up red pictures as the beast was afraid of them. Whatever history or legend you believe, there is no question that Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in many countries, like China, Vietnam, and Korea.
Two boarding students, Melody Xu and Iris Zheng, decided to share their culture with our Lower School students as a way to honor their traditions and celebrate their sacred holiday far away from home. The students gave a little lesson to the students about the holiday and some of the traditions. One such tradition is the making of red envelopes in which people traditionally give good tidings or even money. The boarding students helped demonstrate how to make the envelopes and fold up their hidden message of good fortune and happiness. The students were excited to learn about this fun holiday and even more excited for their red envelopes to share with their family. While being far away from home is tough during this special time of year, having all of these little brothers and sisters to teach and share in the celebration certainly brought a smile to the faces of these ResLife volunteers as much as it did to the excited children learning a new tradition.