Andover Chinese Student Association Plans an Interscholastic Lunar New Year Celebration

Although Andover has recognized Lunar New Year recently in the past few years, this year will be the first where other schools will be invited onto campus to celebrate the occasion together.

To celebrate Lunar New Year at Andover, Andover Chinese Student Association (A.C.S.A.) will be hosting a day dedicated to traditional Asian celebration on Sunday, February 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Opening with a student talent show in the morning, the day-long celebration is punctuated with a few cultural presentations detailing interesting topics and how various cultures celebrate Lunar New Year. Asian food takes center stage in the afternoon; moreover, a diverse range of activities including badminton, Mahjong, karaoke, and calligraphy are available to all students. In addition to the Andover community, the celebration will welcome students from other schools, including Groton, Milton, and Exeter.

A.C.S.A. Board Member Maxwell Bao ’20 stated the importance of this year’s Lunar New Year celebration, explaining how unlike other years, this event is aiming to build a community between Asian students in New England prep schools.

“Because Lunar New Year is such a big celebration, we want it to feel as big as it is. The previous years were fun, but we just don’t think they were necessarily as big as they could have been, and on top of that, we want this to be a thing everyone in the New England area can have. There are so many schools out there that don’t even have a Lunar New Year event, and some schools don’t even have an organization where Asian students or Chinese students can come together, and we want to sort of help build that up throughout this area,” said Bao.

Bao stated that the preparation for the event has been a little “hectic,” describing it as an “ambitious project.” A.C.S.A. Board Member Jessica He ’22 echoed this sentiment, explaining the process of how Andover was able to make the celebration an interscholastic event.

“The preparation has been a lot of work, but we think it’ll be worth it. It actually started off when … Exeter’s Chinese Student Association (C.S.A.) [reached out] over the summer, and they suggested we could make an interscholastic event. We got an Abbot Grant in the fall to sponsor it, so the event will be free for all attendees, and now we are still working on finalizing which schools will be attending and some other logistics like food and talent show performers,” said He.

According to He, the A.C.S.A. is aiming for this event to initiate an annual tradition of interscholastic Lunar New Year celebrations.

“We hope to create an event that will bring everyone who celebrates Lunar New Year together, especially since most [boarding students] won’t be able to spend time with their families. Additionally, we also created a new interscholastic board called the New England Asian Student Union (N.E.A.S.U.), which we hope will allow interscholastic Lunar New Year events to become an annual thing among prep schools in the area,” said He.