David Douglas Schools celebrate 2024 Lunar New Year

INCLUDES FESTIVE VIDEO | ‘Happy New Year’ – Lunar New Year, that is – was the message of this celebration, the largest of its kind held in outer East Portland. See what a great event this was, once again held at David Douglas High School  …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, quite a crowd gathers to celebrate the coming of the Year of the Dragon – the Lunar New Year – at David Douglas High School.

The David Douglas School District (DDSD) held a Lunar New Year celebration at David Douglas High School (DDHS), in the South Cafeteria, on Friday evening, February 2.

With a wildly successful celebration on the record books from last year – [CLICK HERE to read our story, and see the video] – the DDSD reprised that effort with lots of food, entertainment, and information booths set up in the huge room.

Enjoying the celebration is one of its organizers, DDSD Family and Community Partnerships Coordinator Cassy Wood – along with DDSD School Board Director Hoa Nguyen.

“This evening, we’re celebrating the 2024 ‘Year of the Dragon’ New Year here in our school district,”  DDSD Community Partnerships Coordinator Cassy Wood announced  as the fun was about to commence.

We learned that The Year of the Dragon in 2024 is associated with the element of wood. The combination of the animal sign (Dragon) and the element (Wood) designates the year as the Year of the Wood Dragon – which “officially” begins on Saturday, February 10.

DDHS students, members of the event committee, take turns welcoming guests to the festivities – each, in their own native language.

“Typically, people will celebrate this holiday a week to ten days before and after the date,” Wood explained.

“This celebration of the New Year is a time for ‘washing away’ negative experiences of the last year, and welcoming in: Health, good luck, and prosperity in the future,” she told East Portland News.

Enjoy our video showing the fun, excitement, and community-building that took place that evening.

“It’s important for all of us here at David Douglas Schools, because we have such a diverse culture here, both in our schools and in our neighborhoods,” Wood observed. “We like to bring these cultural celebrations to highlight these community members – and to welcome all of our neighbors to celebrate with them.”

Selling raffle tickets, here’s DDHS Key Club member, and 9th grader, Yuki Zhao.

Performing the last millennium’s old tradition of scaring off evil spirits and welcoming good luck, members of the White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance Mualan begin the evening’s program.

This observance isn’t just for Chinese, Wood pointed out, because there are many Asian peoples in the community who celebrate the Lunar New Year also.

“We do have a large Chinese and Vietnamese community – and many of our Asian Student Union members are celebrating this with us,” Wood emphasized.

A wide variety of delicious, traditional food is in abundance at this year’s Lunar New Year’s celebration.

Last year, organizers expected a small turnout – but the response was overwhelming! Dishes of food and treats were emptied in minutes.

This year, the food offered was plentiful, to the delight of the hundreds who attended and enjoyed a delicious supper. Some of the victuals were provided by Bui’s Natural Tofu, Danh’s Kitchen, and Cha Lua Bakery & Deli.

Entertainment includes dance numbers by the DDHS K-Pop Dance Team.

Cultural dances, music, and other entertainment provided for a lively evening.

“This celebration is an amazing community event,” observed DDSD Superintendent Ken Richardson. “I’m so proud of all the individuals and organizations who made the time and provided the effort for this; it expresses and celebrates our Asian cultures.”

Into the evening, families have fun in the community celebration of the Lunar New Year.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


Comments are closed.

© 2005-2024 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.