By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – Nearly 650 people braved a wintry day Feb.24 to attend a belated Chinese New Year celebration in Shrewsbury to celebrate the “Year of the Snake.” ?The event, held at the Oak Middle School, was a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Beijing Chinese Language School, St. John's High School, and the Sherwood and Oak Middle Schools. Throughout the afternoon, dozens of students ranging in age from kindergarten through high school performed a variety of traditional and festive Chinese songs and dances.
The show was originally to be held Feb. 10, but was postponed because of the blizzard.
Dr. Weichu (Brian) Xu, the principal of the Massachusetts Beijing Language School, noted that organizers were worried weather would once again pose a problem for the event.
“The event was originally scheduled on this year's Chinese New Year Day, Feb. 10 – we thought it would be a perfect timing,” he said. “Then we had another potential snow storm on the way for the Feb. 23 weekend and that made it hard for us to make a decision. We waited until Sunday morning to decide to keep it on as scheduled.”
“More than any event that I organized before, this year I am very proud of all the students, their parents and teachers, school leaders, volunteers that attended the event and made it happen under such a tough weather,” he added. “I was truly touched by the unity and understanding from all of them.
The Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday of the year for the Chinese. Traditionally it is a festive celebration that marks the end of winter and also serves as a way to “sweep out the old and usher in the new.”
Chinese New Years are named according to the 12 animals represented on the Chinese zodiac. Chinese mythology contends that a half-human snake was the father of the Chinese emperors. They are associated with beauty and wisdom, esoteric knowledge and spiritual discovery.
Here are some pictures, courtesy of?Bach Nguyen, from the event.