The Chinese New Year Comes to Linden

In Chinese mythology, there are five elements associated with the world: water, earth, fire, metal, and wood. Each of these elements has certain characteristics, with wood representing reaching upwards, branching outwards, and planning ahead.

There are twelve different creatures associated with the Chinese zodiac, with each animal representing one calendar year. Last year was the year of the dragon (or snake, depending on your point of view), and this year is the year of the horse, which represents a strong desire for self-improvement and effort.

The year of the horse also will bring about a strong sense of determination and standing up for their principles among people, which may lead to some challenges for negotiations. In turn, many conflicts may arise and bring about significant changes in our world. Expect many exciting events throughout the year, and don’t be afraid to grab the reins to remain in the saddle.

When these elements are combined, we have just entered the year of the wooden horse, which will create a sense of principled growth that will make for an exciting time.

Linden celebrates every Chinese New Year with a variety of activities and lessons designed to bring us all together to recognize our diversity and cultural awareness.

Linden Celebrates the Chinese New Year in Style

There are many activities and events scheduled in the Linden Public Schools during the week-long Chinese New Year celebration. These activities are coordinated not only within each school, but also among schools and the community at large. In addition to this, we also have a visiting group of exchange students from Xiamen, China with us, who have been involved in recognizing this important holiday.

Linden High School NJROTC and dance students visit Linden’s elementary schools and middle schools to present traditional Chinese performances. Having practiced for many weeks prior to this event, both groups of performers research and rehearse multiple times to make sure that their performances will be authentic.

Our ROTC students, under the supervision of NJROTC instructor Mark Velez, create two separate shows. The first is a traditional lion dance where two students, each carrying a special pom-pom, tease and lead their own costumed lion on a fanciful journey about the performance area. The lions, each of which has two performers, dance and jump around in tune with the music, following the lead of their handlers. Each region of China has its own traditional lion dances, and our Linden students incorporate moves and routines from several to provide a satisfying combination of styles.