The Year of the Dragon—MMA Cadets Celebrate Lunar New Year

The Year of the Dragon—MMA Cadets Celebrate Lunar New Year

Missouri Military Academy cadets marked the arrival of the 2024 Lunar New Year with vibrant decorations, music, calligraphy lessons, an excursion to Columbia and a special lunch presentation. 

Cadets worked on Chinese calligraphy to create Lunar New Year decorations. 

The Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, was on Saturday, February 10. It celebrates a time of hope that represents the opportunity to gather with family and friends to usher out the old year while welcoming a new year teeming with good luck, health and prosperity. 

Cadets enjoyed an early Lunar New Year dinner at Taste Place in Columbia, Missouri. 

To commemorate the Lunar New Year, cadets visited Hong Kong Market in Columbia, Missouri to go grocery shopping and then ate dinner at Taste Place, a Chinese restaurant. 

Cadets grocery shopped at Hong Kong Market in Columbia, Missouri. 

"This is like a tradition we have for Lunar New Year," says Wei-Yun Chien, foreign language department chair and ESL instructor. "You go shopping for a lot of food and you have dinner with your family. They (the cadets) have it with their brothers here."

Wei-Yun Chien and cadets during the lunch presentation on February 8.

Cadets also celebrated with a special lunch presentation on February 8, immersing themselves and other cadets in the festive spirit and cultural significance of the occasion. 

Cadets present facts about Lunar New Year to their peers. 

The following cadets participated in the presentation:

  • Zijie Zhou '24
  • Kam Ho Liu '27
  • Yichen Chen '27
  • Jianlang Chen '26
  • Hao Wang '26
  • Mu Ye '25
  • Zachary Tillock '25
  • Erick Bond '26
  • Lijie Shan '26
  • Yulong Xu '28
  • Adam Swenson '25

President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret), thanks cadets during the Lunar New Year lunch presentation. 

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year begins on the date (in East Asia) of the second moon after the winter solstice. The first day of the Lunar New Year can occur anytime between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. This year, the new moon occurs in China on February 10, marking the start of the new lunar year. 

Cadets perform a musical selection for the Lunar New Year lunch presentation. 

Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities. 

2024 is the Year of the Dragon. People born during the Year of the Drago are naturally charismatic and known to become great leaders. The dragon symbolizes bravery, strength and independence. 

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