Ayala High School spreads the spirit of Lunar New Year 


Elaine Kuang

Chinese Club showcases their work in celebration of Lunar New Year for students across campus during lunch last week. The characters written above read, “Happy New Year.”

Elaine Kuang

Sunday, January 22, marked the first day of 2023’s Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year. The tradition itself is a celebration of the beginning of the lunar calendar and is commonly associated with good fortune. In many cultures, this holiday serves as a chance for families and friends to reunite and gather. As one of the most major holidays celebrated in Asia, along with millions of people around the world, the local spirit in Ayala High School was beaming just as high. 

During lunch, on Friday January 27, the school’s Chinese Club gave a spectacular performance on the library stage. The club presented outstanding performances in lion dancing, traditional Chinese dancing, traditional instruments, and singing. 

Crowds of students gathered in front of the library as the traditional New Year’s music filled the stage with high festivity. The lion dancers were the first to come on stage as the traditional dance was believed to scare away the fierce beast Nian, that would come to destroy villages and crops on the last day of the New Year. 

“Since that monster is now scared away, we kind of honor and remember its legacy to this dance,” lion-head dancer Gabriel Winandar (12) said. 

While lion dancing is most commonly performed during the Chinese New Year, it is also frequently performed on celebratory occasions to bring good luck and fortune. 

“It’s just a tradition we do every single year during holidays for good fortune,” captain of the lion dancing team, Kevin Li (10) said. 

With a kickoff to the performance, the host Miya Huang (11) announced the next performance that took the audience’s breath away: a solo water sleeve dance by Joy Zhu (10) on the Chinese folktale “The Butterfly Lovers.” In contrast to the upbringing and vigorous beats of the drum for lion dancing, Zhu’s dance was slow-paced, filled with grace and elegance. Her long sleeves flowed in the air as her motion matched perfectly with the harmonization of the rich notes in the classical Chinese orchestra.

Immersed in the refinement of the dance and tranquility of traditional Chinese music, the audience were shortly presented with a traditional instrumental performance of a quick and chirpy festival music called “Xi Yang Yang” also known as “Happiness.” The performance combined the sound of two traditional instruments, with Tiffany Shi (12) playing the guzheng and Mandy Zhang (11) playing the erhu. 

After their splendid performance, the Chinese Club’s dance team was back on stage, this time, performing a group dance to a modern ancient-Chinese song, “Red Horse.”

Dancer Namwan Philavong (12) says that their dance “is not just hip-hop, the dance moves also [closely connect] with the lyrics of the song.” As someone who never knew about the culture, Philavong says that joining the club has led her to discover how incredibly interesting the Chinese culture and tradition is and encourages everyone to give the club a try.

The New Year’s performance ultimately ended with a chorus of the song “Blue and White Porcelain,” as the host Miya Huang (11) acted as the lead singer amongst the rest of the Chinese Club members. 

Like always, the school’s Chinese Club gave students an outstanding performance and demonstrated how versatile, talented, and capable our students are. Their performance not only served to celebrate the start of a new year, but also brought happiness and fortune to our school and showed the importance of passing down cultures and traditions. 

“We always have the job of preserving culture and preserving tradition,” said Winandar.