The Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy helped ring in the Chinese New Year at Sun Valley Elementary School.
The Chinese New Year, which started Feb. 3 and lasts for 15 days, has its origin with end-of-harvest celebrations, when people offered thanks for good harvests and asked for a good crop the following year. Although they varied according to the different calendars used, these customs were formalized about 2,000 years ago.
While at Sun Valley, the Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy performed for third-grade students in the school’s media center. Students and invited guests enjoyed a traditional Chinese Lion Dance that included a drum, cymbals, three different lions and a Buddha dancer. The traditional lion dance and firecrackers are an integral part of the celebration.
“Students across the school were captivated by the academy’s performance,” Kevin Vickers, the school’s media coordinator who coordinated the event, said. “Many found it interesting to learn that a female lion has more fur than a male lion.”
At the end of the performance, Sifu Rick Panico from the academy discussed how a traditional Chinese New Year is celebrated and how Kung Fu is tied into all the celebrations due to the Lion Dance.
Panico also discussed how a lot of Chinese businesses in China close for 10 days in celebration. After academy members passed out Red Chinese New Year envelopes, students also enjoyed fortune cookies. They were then given the opportunity to ask questions.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, which started Feb. 3 and ends on Jan. 22, 2012. The Rabbit, the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, is considered a lucky sign.
Chinese tradition says the Rabbit brings a year in which a person can catch his breath and calm the nerves; focus on home, family, security, diplomacy and relationships.
– Information for this article was provided by Union County Public Schools