The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

Lunar New Year Festivities

Vasundhara Jayender
Year of the Dragon Red Envelopes

The Chinese National Honor Society and library advisory board organized a Lunar New Year celebration in the library after school on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The event included traditional Chinese activities such as Chinese chess, jianzi (kicking shuttlecock), and receiving red envelopes themed for the Year of the Dragon.


“Lunar New Year symbolizes a new year based on the lunar calendar,” sophomore Jessica Xu, an attendee at the celebration, said. “Although we follow the Gregorian calendar in America, it’s still important to follow Chinese tradition and celebrate the beginning of a new year.”


This event was a great way to do just that. In fact, non-Chinese students also used this opportunity to celebrate Chinese culture.

Students working on traditional Chinese activities (Vasundhara Jayender)

 “I am not of Chinese descent, so I do not celebrate Lunar New Year at home,” junior Natalia Camelo, an officer of the Chinese club said. “But I do enjoy celebrating the Lunar New Year with my Chinese friends.”


Camelo is Columbian, but she still points out numerous cultural overlaps and ways to appreciate it. 


“There’s a strong emphasis on family values, honor, and tradition which is something really beautiful that I think both my New Year’s culture and the Asian New Year’s culture share,” Camelo said.


Camelo picked Mandarin in high school and her love for Chinese culture and tradition evolved from there. 


“The culture of China is just so fascinating,” Camelo said. “I really love learning about the culture with the language. That’s what made me want to join as an officer to also introduce Chinese culture to people who are not of Asian descent, like myself.”

Natalia Camelo (middle) celebrating Lunar New Year with her friends (Vasundhara Jayender)

Xu, who is Chinese, celebrates the festival annually. 


“My family and I usually go out and eat or make our own food,” Xu said. “Of course, you also get money, which is really nice.”


Houston, being as diverse as it is, provides lots of opportunities to celebrate, with a festival hosted by the Chinese Community Center including traditional lion/dragon dances, fireworks, gift-giving, and more. 


“There are always a lot of community activities like line dances as well as food stalls, too,” Xu said. “If you go to Chinatown, it’s really fun.”

Annie Wang, the Chinese teacher, with students (Vasundhara Jayender)

Xu herself goes to restaurants with her family on Lunar New Year.


“I encourage anybody, even if you don’t really celebrate it, to celebrate it with friends and family and go out,” Xu said.


The Chinese club meets every other Tuesday and is open to new members.

Students playing jianzu (Vasundhara Jayender)

Correction: A previous version of this story said the event was organized by the Chinese Mandarin Club. It has been corrected to the Chinese National Honor Society.

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About the Contributor
Vasundhara Jayender
I'm VJ and I'm a senior! I love to read and write, and you can almost always find me doing one of those two things while listening to some music. I'm excited to join the Round Up and I look forward to writing lots of articles!

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