Celebrating global diversity through Lunar New Year traditions


Zara Black '23

The Sacred Heart Greenwich community joins together to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year began February 1.  Students and faculty at Sacred Heart Greenwich have spent the month celebrating and learning more about the holiday’s traditions.  Mrs. Zheng (Chen Laoshi), Upper School World Language Teacher, spreads awareness about the significance of the celebration and incorporates engaging activities to provide a cultural learning experience for the school community.

Robin Murphy ’23 and Annie Finn ’23 participate in an activity to learn more about Chinese calligraphy. Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

The Lunar New Year occurs on the first day of the Chinese lunar-solar calendar, which lasts for 354 days.  People celebrate the arrival of the New Year until the fifteenth day which marks the celebration of the Lantern Festival.  Additionally, the Lunar New Year represents the transition of the zodiac sign from year to year.  2021 was the year of the Ox and 2022 marks the year of the Tiger.  The rotation of zodiac signs operates on a twelve-year cycle that repeats with twelve different animals including, the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, according to chinesenewyear.net.

People all around the world celebrate Lunar New Year with multiple traditions.  The celebration marks one of the busiest days of the year as many people travel home to celebrate with their families, according to chinesenewyear.net.  Chinese calligraphy is one of the ways people honor the holiday.  Many write different greetings during the new year, including the phrase “good luck” which celebrants hang upside-down to signify that good luck has arrived.

Chen Laoshi organized different activities during the first week of the Lunar New Year to expose the Sacred Heart community to the Chinese culture.  Faculty and students had the opportunity to participate in chopstick and ring toss challenges in Hayes Hall during break periods.  Additionally, students taking the Chinese world language course created informative videos about the holiday.  Chen Laoshi explains that these activities were just one way that the school can celebrate the holiday together.

Faculty and students take part in the chopstick challenge during Lunar New Year celebrations. Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

“I think this year is really great because we have opened the celebration to the whole community and we can learn about different traditions and the history of the culture while raising awareness for the diverse community we live in,” Chen Laoshi said.

Chen Laoshi hopes to incorporate more activities in the future so the community can learn more each year.  Through this exposure, the community can explore cultures around the world and learn about traditions from a different perspective.

“We can learn so much when we educate ourselves about different cultures, and overall widen our global perspective on the diverse world we live in,” Chen Laoshi said.


Xīn nián kuài lè!

Featured Image by Zara Black ’23