CENTERVILLE — Dragons filled the halls of several Davis County schools this week as students celebrated Chinese New Year with a favorite tradition.
“The dragon chases away the old evil spirits for the old year,” said Connie Woodland, a first-grade teacher at Valley View Elementary in Bountiful. “The drums, noise and thousands of firecrackers chase away the old year and welcome in the new year.”
Woodland has spent the past 12 summers teaching English culture in China and brings some of the language, culture and traditions home to her students.
At Stewart Elementary in Centerville, there were not only dragons, but music and dancing.
As a Chinese-immersion school, half of the students in the younger grades are learning Mandarin along with English.
Of the school’s 715 students, 258 are now in the immersion program.
Kindergartners and first-through-third graders performed for classmates and family members throughout the day, sharing songs sung entirely in Mandarin.
Chinese New Year started on a new moon on Feb. 10 and ends with a lantern festival 15 days later, according to Woodland. This year is the Year of the Snake.
“People born in the Year of the Snake are usually charming, wise and graceful,” she said, “but they can be stingy!”