On Tuesday, February 5 the Northwest Catholic community gathered to celebrate Chinese New Year. At the school’s weekly convocation students gave presentations to help the community learn more about this important, worldwide festival.
Guy Ragland, a junior from West Hartford, delivered the opening prayer in Chinese. Newton Deng, a junior from China currently living with a host family in West Hartford, played the flute. And Steven Tian, a sophomore from China, also living with a host family in town, gave the keynote address.
Steven began by wishing the school community a “Happy Chinese New Year! Today the year of the pig begins!” He then told a Chinese myth of the pig arriving late to the Jade Emperor’s party, but Steven quickly instructed us not to judge the pig. He explained, “Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life, at least in Chinese culture. The people who were born in the year of the pig might not stand out in a crowd, but they are hard working.” Steven also explained the power of red, the reason for the firecracker, the ways of the lunar calendar, and more.
Steven drew a clear parallel for his audience between Chinese New Year and Christmas, telling his listeners that “both celebrate a new year, bring good tidings, and gather family together.” Steven suggested that because many Chinese are starting to celebrate Christmas, “why don’t you guys try celebrating Spring Festival?”
Steven’s most important message came at the end when he paused for just a moment to sing “We are the world, we are the children,” which had everyone smiling. It was a fun and factual way to start the day and the Chinese New Year.