Hopping into the New Year

Bishop’s celebrates the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit with a week of Asian cuisine and festivities


Samson Chan

Some students participated in the dragon dance during both middle and upper school lunch. Holding long, wooden poles on various parts of the dragon’s body, the students could make the dragon look like it was dancing by swaying in different directions.

Sydney Chan, Editor-in-Chief

A playful gold-and-orange-scaled dragon, some lucky posters and bright red and gold wall hangings, and our wonderful kitchen staff and parent volunteers contributed to the festive week of Bishops’ Lunar New Year Celebration, held from January 23, 2023 to January 27. 

Lunar New Year, a celebration of family ties and the hope for prosperity in the upcoming year, is based on the dates of the lunar calendar, which determines its months in accordance with the phases of the moon. The holiday extends for 16 days; this year beginning with Lunar New Year’s Day on January 22 and culminating with the Lantern Festival on February 5th. 

“It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see how much further we can take it this year,” East Asian Student Association (EASA) senior Kosi Eguchi shared.

To take cultural experiences and spread them with awareness and enjoyment is what we’re really going for. Celebrations of art, food, and culture are always fun moments, and I think that’s really important.

— Kosi Eguchi ('23)

Five days of mouth-watering dishes, eight talented student performers, and four days of interactive activities contributed to the exciting celebration.

On Monday, students indulged in a delicious spread of dishes from different East-Asian cultures, such as Lion’s Head Meatballs from China — large pork meatballs steamed/braised and served with vegetables. Students also tasted japchae from Korea — noodles made of sweet potato starch stir-fried with an umami sauce and sliced carrots and vegetables — and mango sticky-rice — a classic Thai dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango, and coconut milk. 

On Tuesday, students enjoyed Korean bibimbap, a dish that translates to “mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables,” on Wednesday, Vietnamese bánh mì, a crispy baguette filled with some sort of meat and often pickled vegetables; on Thursday, Thai curry, a dish packed with flavor that can be found in many different variations; and on Friday, Chinese soy-braised chicken, drowned in a heavenly garlic sauce.

“This is my favorite Bishop’s campus holiday that we celebrate, and the food is always so good,” Grace Dabir (‘24) exclaimed. Sophia Guan (‘24) agreed, “I especially enjoy the food and the snacks.”

This year, EASA seniors Katelyn Wang, Grace Sun, and Kosi focused on delegating tasks to the younger students, “so that when we graduate, we know that the celebration will continue to flourish,” Katelyn said. 

The student performances on the 23rd were a big hit, drawing lots of attention and a large crowd of students and teachers alike to the terrace. Dax Gutekunst (‘23) and Natasha Mar (‘23) performed a duet of Gong Xi Gong Xi, a popular song for the holiday, broadly translating to much congratulations. Natasha on the Saw U — a Thai bowed string instrument — and Dax on vocals encouraged everyone to sing along to the familiar chorus, “Gōngxǐ gōngxǐ gōngxǐ nǐ ya, gōngxǐ gōngxǐ gōngxǐ nǐ.”

“It was a fantastic experience, and the vibes were high. Lunar New Year is always a festive time,” Dax shared. He had “a great time being part of the festivities.”

Many traditional Chinese folklore dances were also showcased. Ellen Wang (‘25) and her sister Katelyn performed a duet in costumes made of graceful, red fabric. The dance is actually one that the two have used in a dance competition, but “it was really special” to perform it for the Bishop’s community, Ellen said. Katelyn added, “The main thing I wanted to do when I came to Bishop’s was share cultural dance; and Lunar New Year really gave me an outlet for that.”

By the end of the first day, Katelyn shared, “I loved seeing the student performances unify us as community members: the performers worked very hard on sharing their craft, and that passion was bridged with the support of our community. It’s a delightful feeling seeing students cheer for these performances and take a stance towards cultural solidarity.”

“We really appreciate that the parents put so much effort into creating this holiday for us,” Renee Wang (‘24) said. Without a doubt, the 2023 Lunar New Year celebration was well-loved; and we can’t wait for what EASA has in store for next year!