Chinese classes host online Lunar New Year festivities for Year of the Ox


Photo credit: Digital image by Quincy Gordon

Lunar New Year celebrations for the Year of the Ox were translated onto an online space. A wide range of activities and learning opportunities were planed and executed by Chinese class students.

By Grace Doyle, Sports Editor

In celebration of entering the Year of the Ox, ranging from Feb. 12 to next Jan. 31, the Archer Chinese classes hosted the annual Lunar New Year celebration. With activities ranging from red envelope making to Chinese greeting lessons, the event was adapted to fit into a virtual setting. Past celebrations, before Covid-19, took place in the courtyard with booths designated for each activity; however, due to the shift to a virtual world, there were weeks of planning involved in translating the events onto an online platform.

“We definitely had a lot of limitations because when it’s in person it’s easier to coordinate, but because everything is online, in terms of coordination between different classes virtually we had to stay very organized,” Chinese teacher Pei-Ying Gosselin said.

Each Chinese class had a designated role to play within the celebration. The events began with a student-produced music video. Next, students could choose between three breakout rooms of crafts including making an origami lucky star, Chinese lantern or red envelope.  There was also a trivia Kahoot made in conjunction with video skits about new year customs.

“We were able to be creative and show stories and inform about Chinese New Year in a new and fun way,” Chinese 2 student Maia Alvarez (’24) said.

While this year’s celebration was online, there was still a push to make it as interactive as possible. There was an emphasis on “hands-on” learning, according to junior Ruby Williams.

“[Dr. Gosselin] wanted everything to be very hands-on because, usually, you walk around, you listen to music, you get boba and you eat lunch and you watch stuff — so it’s not usually as hands-on,” Chinese 4 student Williams said.

Alvarez, who hosted the school-wide Kahoot, also acknowledged the importance of engaging the community as opposed to just sharing information.

“When we were planning it out, we wanted it to still be something where it’s not just us sharing the information,” Alvarez said. “We wanted it to be engaging, and we were trying to find the best ways to do that in the environment that we had.”

While Gosselin worked with John Chen, Piero Zamaro and Jenn Babin to organize the technical side of the function, the Chinese students took charge of the actual activities the school partook in.

“My only requirement for [the classes] was that it had to be an interactive activity. So each class came up with ideas, all ideas were from students, they are very creative in terms of the variety of activities, games and arts and crafts,” Gosselin said. “They found the information and the background knowledge before they planned their activities.”

Overall, there was a goal to have a balance of learning and fun during the celebration. In order to fully grasp the attention of participants in the online space, that expectation was upheld.

“In terms of giving the whole student body knowledge on Chinese culture while having fun,” Gosselin said, “I think that we reached our goal.”