Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS

Students at a school in Bayside learned all about a traditional Asian holiday at an exciting assembly this week.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute Dragon and Lion Dance Team performed an educational assembly for the student body at P.S. 159 about Lunar New Year — the traditional Asian holiday celebrating the birth of a new year.


Students were enthralled as the troupe began an energetic lion dance and high pole performance accompanied by thunderous drum music. Throughout the presentation, organizer Warren Wan provided narrative support, teaching students about the rich tradition and history behind the important holiday.

Later, excitement filled the air as the pair of colorful and energetic lions walked around the assembly space collecting red and green envelopes from eager children’s hands — a symbol of good luck and fortune.

“Fifty-seven percent of our students population comes from an Asian culture, so the majority of our students do know about [the holiday],” school principal Paul DiDio said. “But we’re hoping to educate the other part of our student body, so they can learn more about their classmates and the celebrations they participate in.”

DiDio explained that the event was funded by donations from parents and organized by the Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA) executive board.

“This is our second annual Lunar New Year celebration, and we wanted to do a daytime assembly so that all 680 students could have an experience to remember,” said Teresa Kirchhofer, treasurer of the PTA. “I think having an interactive assembly is something much better than, maybe, having students read a paper on it.”

P.S. 159 is a National Blue Ribbon elementary school located at 205-01 33rd Ave.

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