The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Belmont community welcomes Year of the Dragon with roaring success

Alexandra Chan
A student of the Flying Angel Dance Company, a Chinese dance school based in San Francisco, holds a bundle of red chopsticks and streamers in both hands. She performed the Mongolian chopstick dance with a group of other girls who were also dressed in costumes, resembling a Chinese lion. This was one of three performances that her group danced on behalf of the Flying Angels.

Belmont celebrates its Asian community by honoring and replicating traditional Lunar New Year customs more than 6,500 miles from China by blending modern crafts, performances, and foods.  

The city hosted its third Lunar New Year celebration at Twin Pines Park on Feb. 4, a week before the Lunar New Year began. The free event was hosted by Belmont’s Parks and Recreation department, with help from businesses, school clubs, and the Belmont Library. 

“The event allowed the community to celebrate and learn about different cultures, traditions, and customs associated with Lunar New Year,” said Danielle Giuliacci, Belmont Parks and Recreation event coordinator. 

The event included a wide range of activities, from lion dances to musical performances like the pipa, crafts, poetry, stories, food, and more. 

“Carlmont’s Chinese Culture and Korean Club helped with some of the event activities, which reflected the diversity of Asian cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year,” said Peyton Lo, an officer of Carlmont’s Chinese Culture Club. 

Lunar New Year is not only celebrated amongst Chinese people; according to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese Americans also celebrate the holiday, but in different ways. 

All of the activities at the event were planned to symbolize essential parts of Chinese culture. For instance, interactive crafts allowed attendees to gain insight into traditions held throughout China. 

“When it comes to arts and crafts, you can appreciate it even if it is not part of your culture,” said Belmont Library Volunteer Salina Yu. “Everyone participating is learning culture through fun.” 

The Belmont Library created a dragon craft because 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. Additionally, Carlmont’s Chinese Culture Club taught attendees Chinese calligraphy and led paper lantern making. 

At the Chinese Culture Club’s calligraphy station, an attendee writes “chunjiehao” on a traditional red banner, which translates to Happy Lunar New Year. “Event activities, like calligraphy and lantern-making, further incorporated the traditional Asian elements of the Lunar New Year,” Lo said. (Audrey Gong)

Aside from activities, attendees were able to choose from traditional snacks, like lucky candy, fortune cookies, and mandarins, closely tied to bringing luck and fortune in Chinese culture. 

Attendees also enjoyed performances throughout the day. For one, the Joyous Spring Lion Dance Troupe performed a traditional lion dance among countless other dances that ran on a back-to-back schedule. 

These performances replicated what is typically seen in China during the Lunar New Year, throughout the streets, and on China’s most prominent live TV show, The Spring Festival Gala

“I hope more people come to understand the values and traditions of Chinese culture, those values and traditions being community and acceptance,” said Kylan Wang, an attendee of the event. 

Events like these are essential to the community because aside from learning about Chinese culture, it also allows the community to socialize and bond. 

“It provided a family-friendly space for the community to come together, socialize, and appreciate the diversity within the community,” Giuliacci said. 

Similarly, family and community are emphasized priorities during the Lunar New Year.

“Lunar New Year holds cultural importance as a time of renewal, family reunions, and celebrating long-held traditions and our cultural heritage,” Lo said.

Belmont plans to hold more events like this, which represent cultural importance, in the future. 

“The City of Belmont’s vision statement asserts: ‘We value and celebrate a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, safety, equality, and dignity for all individuals in Belmont,'” Giuliacci said. 

The Lunar New Year event was a perfect example of Belmont’s vision statement, showcasing the rich history, art, and traditions of Belmont’s ever-growing diverse community. 

“We hope this event helps to build a more inclusive, vibrant, and culturally rich community for all to enjoy and inspires our neighboring cities to celebrate similar cultural events,” Giuliacci said. 

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About the Contributors
Audrey Gong
Audrey Gong, Staff Writer
Audrey Gong (Class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont, and this is her first year as a staff writer for Scot Scoop. She is also one of the sophomore class vice presidents and a member of the Carlmont Varsity Dance Team. She enjoys dancing, hanging out with friends and family, baking, and listening to music.  
Alexandra Chan
Alexandra Chan, Staff Writer
Alexandra Chan (Class of 2025) is a junior at Carlmont High School, and this is her second year in the journalism program. She has produced videos for ScotCenter and is excited to be a photojournalist for Scot Scoop this semester. Outside of school, you'll find her practicing with her ice skating team, doing yoga, and thrifting.

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