Chinese Lunar New Year

The Chinese Lunar New Year occurs every year around January or February and lasts for about 15 days. This year, the lunar new year will start on February 5th, lasting till the 19th. The Chinese calendar goes according to the moon and each year is represented by an animal.

The usage of animals originally came from the worship of animals, but there are also many legends that tell a story of a race between the animals that were ordered by the Jade Emperor. There are twelve animals that are, in order: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The zodiac animals repeats after twelve years, and this year is the last animal of the twelve: the pig. Each zodiac animal has their own traits, and some are more compatible with others while each has a zodiac animal it is not compatible with at all. People believe that the zodiac signs can determine your fortune, marriage, career, and many more.

On the last day, there is a huge festival celebrated called the Lantern Festival. To prepare for the Lantern Festival many children, through the celebrations, create colorful lanterns as a tradition that has been around for over 2,000 years. In the earlier years people would light lanterns as gifts and offerings for the gods to their heavenly place.

The Lantern Festival, also known as the Spring Festival, is mainly celebrated for a reunion with your family. Many people from all around the world come back to China to celebrate the new year. Not only do relatives visit their family but also their in-laws or maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend. Over many years there have been many different variations of lanterns. Different lanterns have different meanings to bring fortune to them.

There are many other activities that the Chinese do for their Lunar New Year, but before even celebrating the new year families will clean their houses, set up couplets (poems), and prepare for a great dinner feast. Foods that are normally eaten for the New Year’s celebration will each have a meaning to them. For example, fish is eaten to represent prosperity and when you eat long noodles you are not to bite them off because the noodle represents the length of your life.

Each day until the Lantern Festival, is a celebration of something. According to nationsonline.org, the first through the seventh day is the celebration of birthdays from the different zodiac animals. The eighth day is a completion day of reunion and praying to the Jade Emperor, and the ninth day is celebrating the Jade Emperor’s birthday. The tenth through the twelfth day is feasting, but the thirteenth day is to rest and and eat things that’ll help your dignstive system. The fourteenth day is the preparation day for the Lantern Festival, and last, but not least, the fifteenth day is the Lantern Festival celebration.

Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February; Presidents’ Day 2019, occurred on Monday, February 18. George Washington was the first president of the U.S.A. His first term as president lasted from 1789 to 1793 and his second term as president lasted  from 1793 to 1797. Washington is often known as the “Father of the United States” and is one of the best known American politicians ever.

Washington’s Birthday was celebrated  first as a holiday in the District of Columbia in the 1880s, then it became an holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally celebrated, in 1971, on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth, on February 22. This holiday was moved to the third Monday in February later.

The idea behind the name change was to create a holiday that did not recognize a specific president, but rather celebrated the office of the presidency.

This holiday is known as “Washington’s Birthday,” but is best known as Presidents’ Day. Washington’s Birthday honors the first president of the U.S.A, and the life work of George Washington. We recognize George Washington in many ways on currency, statues, and portraits. George Washington inspires us to this day, particularly federal workers who uphold what he helped create.

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Spirit week at HPSH

HPSH’s spirit week is here – February 19 to 22. During spirit week, students are encouraged to dress up based on the allotted schedule, and are expected to attend the pep fest.

The pep fest will occur Friday, February 22, 7th period (1:12-2:00) in the main gym. Your 7th period teacher should bring you down when the time is right, there will also be an announcement over the loud speakers to notify the teachers when to come down (we are assuming they are calling down by floors). Please do not bring your backpack (or any bag) to the gym. You can leave it in your (locked) 7th period teacher’s classroom or locker.

Because students and staff did not go to school Monday due to Presidents’ Day, there will be four dress up days. Tuesday is “dress like a teacher day.” For Tuesday, you could dress like your favorite teacher using wigs, clothing, hats, and/or shoes.

Wednesday is pajama day, so make sure to wear your favorite onesie or most comfortable sweatpants.

Thursday is jersey day. On Thursday you can wear any jersey, or sports apparel you own, to represent your favorite sports team.

Friday is class colors day, where students wear the colored t-shirt that coordinates with their grade. (freshmen wear yellow, sophomores wear green, juniors wear blue, and seniors wear red.)

Also, please be mindful that you are not mocking anyone during this week by dressing up like them (A.K.A on Tuesday, teacher look alike day). Please keep all your outfits school appropriate and all outfits MUST show your face at all times. Remember to have fun at the pep fest, but also be respectful to everyone who is performing.    

When we asked HPSH students what they thought of spirit week, many said that they appreciated the opportunity and thought it was fun. However, “It’s not really as fun as it would be if everyone participated,” one student explained. Many students agreed with this. Some even admitted to not taking part; “Spirit week is really fun…but I usually don’t participate.”

Because of the lack of participants in spirit week, not all students dress up. “Sometimes you’re just worried that other people won’t do it, and even if you wanted to, you chicken out,” one person told us. “You’re worried others will think it’s weird.”

Spirit week is much more fun if everyone does it! Show your school spirit by dressing up with everyone else.