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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Chinese New Year festivities light up campus

Chinese+Club+lion+dancers+meet+audience+members+after+performing+their+routine+at+the+Chinese+New+Year+Gala+in+The+Shoppes.+The+club+hopes+to+educate+the+community+about+Chinese+traditions+through+their+performances.
Ayala Chinese Club
Chinese Club lion dancers meet audience members after performing their routine at the Chinese New Year Gala in The Shoppes. The club hopes to educate the community about Chinese traditions through their performances.

On Friday, February 16, the library stage was filled with performers from the Chinese Club, showcasing their traditional performances in celebration of Chinese New Year. 

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar where each year generally begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice; this year, the new year began on February 10, 2024. Traditionally, each year is also welcomed with a specific zodiac animal which repeats every 12 years. According to the Chinese calendar, 2024 is the year of the dragon, one of the most unique and desired animals in Chinese culture. The year of the dragon symbolizes strength, prosperity, and change for individuals. 

For many, the new year is celebrated with family, friends, and long time traditions. Ayala’s Chinese Club has made it their tradition to perform cultural pieces for students in hopes of entering the new year with happiness and unity. 

“The club started in 2013 [and its] purpose is to spread Chinese culture and to help students engage more in their community,” Chinese Club Advisor Mrs. Lin Guo said. “The club is like a second home for heritage students.”

The Chinese Club’s performance opened with lion dancing, an important ritual in Chinese culture to drive away evil spirits and bring good fortune in the new year. Lion dancing not only demands physical strength from performers, but also coordination between the two dancers that make up one lion. 

After the lion dance concluded, musical performers entered the stage. Students performed various musical pieces on traditional instruments. The mellow music filled each quad on campus, representing a peaceful greeting to the new year. 

The Chinese Club concluded their new year’s performance with Chinese dancing. Each dancer wore a customary Chinese dress while dancing elegantly on stage, despite the challenging steps. Traditionally, Chinese dancing in the new year celebrates a bountiful harvest and a joyful new year. Dance routines are still continued today in order to preserve cultural traditions across generations. 

Chinese Club dancers perform their routine on the library stage during the Chinese New Year celebration on the library stage. The dancers practice a minimum of three days a week in order to perfect their movements.
Pictured: Jophy Huang (10), Xinyu Guo (9), Cindy Li (9), Angela Gao (11), Joy Zhu (11), Melody Chang (11) (David Jung)

“I thought the performance was entertaining and captured Chinese culture beautifully,” spectator Klaren Suh (11) said. 

The successful performance of the Chinese Club was a result of their constant hard work and dedication to the art. The club rehearses three to four times a week, minimum, in order to ensure each performance looks flawless. 

“We’ve had a ton of officer meetings to go over the details and make sure how long each of the performances are, who the MCs will be, and also communicating with USB regarding speakers,” Chinese Club Vice President and dancer, Joy Zhu (11) said. 

In addition to their performance at Ayala, Chinese Club has also showcased their production at the Chinese New Year Gala in the Shoppes, Government Day at Ayala, Howard Cattle Elementary school, City of Chino Hills Proclamation, and Chino Spectrum Towne Center. The club strives to reach as many people as possible through their performances, in hopes of educating the community about Chinese culture. 

“Next Saturday [2/24] we’ll perform at the Chinese New Year Celebration in Pomona to celebrate of the last day of Chinese New Year which is also known as the Lantern Festival,” Guo said. “Since our performance season begins towards the end of January and ends in April, we hope to do many performances at Ayala and in the community as well.”

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Jiaying Hou, Assistant News Editor
Jiaying Hou (11) is a reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her first year on staff. Jiaying hopes to bring forward unique students at Ayala and tell their stories. This year, she is excited to work with other passionate writers and be more involved in school culture. In addition to being a reporter, she is also part of Cancer Awareness Club, ANEA Club, STEAM for Kids, and Leo Club. Outside of school, she is a ballet dancer and enjoys playing both the saxophone and piano. She also loves traveling, playing with her dog, watching documentaries, and replicating her mom’s cooking recipes.
David Jung, Staff Member
David Jung (10) is a writer for the Bulldog Times, and this is his 1st year on staff. David hopes to write articles for future members to read and for them to write stories that will surpass his own. He looks forward to seeing how the process will work out and seeing all members in action. He is also part of the Ayala Tennis team, being in J.V . In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, listening to music, making model kits, reading all kinds of books, eating many sweets, and taking good naps (if he can in the first place).
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