On February 17, Saint Clare had their annual Lunar New Year celebration. Saint Clare is fortunate to have representation from a majority of Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year. However, you did not have to be from any of the Asian countries to help celebrate the New Year. Children from grades TK-8th, of various cultures, were dressed in customary outfits such as the Vietnamese ao dai, Korean hanbok and the Chinese cheongsam during the celebration.
The celebration took place in the parish hall. It commenced with a prayer from Saint Clare’s pastor, Fr. Tad Terembula. The prayer included blessings for the families of the community along with happiness and joyful new beginnings for the New Year. Following the prayer was the traditional lion dance and parade. The lion dance, which included two lions this year, was performed by accomplished Saint Clare students. TK and Kindergarten students, all in customary outfits, participated in the parade while firecrackers were set off safely outside. The lion (or unicorn in Vietnamese culture) dance and parade is believed to bring good luck to people of the community for the New Year while firecrackers are believed to ward off any evil spirits. After the parade, teachers and staff were presented with red envelopes and a bouquet of flowers as a tribute and a sign of honor.
Each faculty member was respectfully escorted up by two students to receive their gifts. To conclude the celebration, Saint Clare students were able to lunch on pre-ordered orange chicken, fried rice, chow mein and fortune cookies.