First Graders Celebrate Chinese Traditions, Culture in “Peacock Dance”
As part of their yearlong interdisciplinary study of China, first graders performed a traditional “Peacock Dance” in honor of the Lunar New Year at a community assembly, held April 7. In welcoming remarks, Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin explained to the many parents and family members who attended in-person and via livestream that the assembly was particularly meaningful in that it was the first in-person Lower School gathering since the pandemic hit.
“I am so proud of the resilience we have shown and of the ways we have maintained our strong and robust sense of community despite the obstacles of these past two years,” said Ms. Mallin. “It is a joy to gather together in this space to celebrate this beloved Grade 1 tradition today."
Fourth grade assembly announcers Taylor Kern of New Canaan, Hunter Mackey of New Canaan and Makena Stephenson of Norwalk introduced the first graders and shared that while often called “Chinese New Year,” this holiday is celebrated throughout Asia. The announcers, who fondly remembered their study of China a few years prior, shared that during this holiday oranges are given as gifts, as are red envelopes with money inside, and that red and orange are the colors of good luck.
The first graders then performed the “Peacock Dance,” led by Performing Arts teacher Jake Alrich. The traditional dance is a symbol of good luck, happiness, beauty and honesty.
Students began their interdisciplinary study of China by discussing the country’s population, key industries, weather, climate and wildlife. They then turned their attention to cultural traditions. They also learned about the life of a Chinese student and discussed the similarities and differences to their own experiences.
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