Darlington School's Online Student News Source


Darlington School's Online Student News Source


Darlington School's Online Student News Source


Kicking Off the Lunar New Year with Hotpot


On February 8th, Asian boarding students had the opportunity to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a shared dinner of hotpot, which parents planned alongside the school.

The Lunar New Year is a traditional holiday and one of the most important holidays in East and Southeast Asia. Similarly to the New Year in the West, it marks new beginnings and serves as a time of reflection for the previous year. It is the beginning of the New Year according to the lunar calendar that follows the moon’s cycles, compared to the solar or Gregorian calendar based on a solar year. Thus, every year, it falls on different days of the year, usually from late Jan. to mid-Feb. It is a time for the celebration of joy.

“We usually go to our hometown and eat with a big family,” freshman Emma Trieu said.

The New Year allows families to reunite and come back together after the long year as businesses and schools close in observance of the holiday, and people often take at least a few days off to meet with family and friends. Many workers are too busy to return to family during other times of the year, so it is considered very important to take the time to share joy with family on the Lunar New Year.

“It’s a time that lets people refresh their energy and enjoy time with their parents because young people are always very busy,” senior Taylor Zhang said.

However, especially as many boarding students study abroad, they cannot return home to celebrate with their families. Thus, two parents of boarding students believed it was important to create a dinner where students could celebrate with friends and eat food that could remind them of home since it is a time when students often miss their parents.

”We wanted to provide this dinner to give the students a time to come and share in their mutual love for good food and good friendship,” parent Esther Yoo, who helped plan the dinner, said.

The hotpot allowed students to share a fun and interactive meal, as it’s not only a shared dish but also an experience as it entails keeping a pot with boiling soup in the middle of a table and cooking a variety of food together. Hotpot is very popular in Asia, and many students shared that they were excited to have hotpot while away from home. They also shared red envelopes, a tradition in China where parents give money to their children, grandchildren, and others who are close to them to create an atmosphere more similar to one shared with family. 

“I think the dinner was really good because…I could not imagine we could eat together while here,” Zhang said.

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