West Essex celebrated the Chinese New Year with a special after-school festival in the High School Cafeteria Feb. 21. The event was planned by the West Essex Chinese Club and the West Essex Chinese Honor Society, according to Chinese Club and Honor Society Advisor Cynthia Ni.
Ms. Ni said she spoke to students about many of the traditions for the new year. "People get a haircut and new set of clothes for good luck to start the new year," she said.
About 50 West Essex High School and West Essex Middle School students and 20 faculty members attended the festival in the cafeteria. They played Chinese games, including marble solitaire, enjoyed lo mein and fried rice and socialized in the High School Cafeteria.
"I really like this festival," said Derek Gallagher, a freshman from Fairfield. "It is a good way to get people together, Chinese or not."
"A festival like this definitely opens up the school to other cultures and traditions," said Lawrence Zhang, a freshman from Fairfield.
Heather Krannich, a junior from North Caldwell, held up the Chinese Zodiac animals and noted that it is the Year of the Water Snake.