Mini Documentary: Year of the Tiger

Lunar year celebration at OPHS

At noon on Tuesday, Feb. 1, community members of Oak Park joined together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Students, parents, and staff met on the Oak Park High School Great Lawn to enjoy festivities produced by the OPHS Chinese program.

Participants were dressed in vibrant colors and many wore cat ear headbands. The participants on the Great Lawn were accompanied by a shimmering dragon and dance performance. The decorations coordinated with the year of the tiger theme. Tablecloths covered parent-run stations, one of which was handing out individually wrapped rice rolls. 

This has been “funded and supported by most of the Chinese parents,” Chinese teacher Katherine Chang told the Talon. “They arranged for this a long time ago.”

Chang emphasized the importance of sharing Chinese traditions and festivities with Oak Park students, schools, and the community as a whole. She found the event, which was planned at the start of the school year, successful in celebrating the holiday. 

“Each [Chinese language] student also presented a report,” Chang said. “They were about the dragon dance, the lion dance, inventions, traditional customs, and they did a wonderful job.” 

According to CNN, the Lunar New Year celebration typically begins “about a week ahead of the new year.” Large family dinners are common on the eve of the new year, as is wearing red since it is “associated with luck and prosperity.”