Archer community hops into Lunar New Year with courtyard celebration, fashion show


Photo credit: Melinda Wang

Students from the Chinese 1 class dance around the courtyard in a big red and gold dragon to symbolize good luck for the new year. The Archer community celebrated the Lunar New Year through student-led crafts, songs and dances Jan. 27.

By Ella Schwartz, Managing Editor

A student-run fashion show, red envelopes, art and a big red dragon filled the courtyard Jan. 27 to celebrate Lunar New Year and an entrance into the Year of the Rabbit. 

This year’s Lunar New Year celebration is different than those in previous years. Rather than being faculty-run, students in Asian Pacific Islander Student Union joined together to plan the celebration, which included a student fashion show, dance performances from Chinese classes and music. Student-run booths including paper star-making, indigo ink paintings and many more crafts took place during the festival.

The entire Archer community was invited to attend the celebration. Co-leader of Asian Pacific Student Union Sogna Louie said she was excited for the Lunar New Year celebration because it was newly student-run, and there were many new celebrations.

“I haven’t seen the [new crafts] before in previous years,” Louie said. “The senior class is doing this traditional indigo dye, which has been really fun to learn.”

In addition to her excitement for Archer’s Lunar New Year celebration, Louie has been celebrating the new year alongside her family.

“My family, we do a sebea, which is when you do the traditional Korean bow, and then you get the red envelope,” Louie said. “Lunar New Year is all about being together and celebrating the new year.”

APSU member Sophia Shin (’25) ran the paper star table, where she taught students how to assemble the craft. She said she also enjoyed watching students from the Chinese 3 class perform dôulìwû, which translates to bamboo hat dance in English. 

“Today we are making paper stars. They’re an important Chinese tradition,” Shin said. “Every year, the Chinese students do a dance for everyone, and it’s really fun. It’s just a really great way for them to apply what they’re learning in class.” 

Celebrating her first Lunar New Year, sixth grader Zoë Butler participated in all of the activities and arts and crafts. She said her favorite part of the festival was the student-crafted dragon. In Chinese culture, the dragon dance banishes evil spirits and brings in good luck for the new year. 

“It’s exciting to see a lot of different cultures [and] different outfits,” Butler said. “And the dragon is really cool.”

Students also brought back the popular fashion show, where they showcased their cultures through traditional clothing, including the traditional Korean Hanbok and Chinese QI Pao. Sophomore Maya Acutt said she was inspired by the fashion show because of the diversity of outfits.

“I thought it was really cool how different cultures were celebrated,” Acutt said. “It was really amazing seeing people so proud of what they were wearing and how happy they were. I loved seeing how they described how their outfits tie in with their culture.”

Shin reflected on the success of the celebration, particularly the variety of stations community members had the opportunity to participate in.

“It was really great,” Shin said. “The fashion show was amazing, and there were a ton of successful stations where everyone could try out a fun variety of thing.”