It was a unique celebration with echoes that reached back thousands of years; the Culver City High School hosted a Night Market on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024 that also celebrated the Year of the Dragon with all the traditional props, costumes, foods and (of course) friends and family. Sponsored by the CCHS APA, it offered an evening for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander owned businesses to provide space for community building, and demonstrate the contributions of AANHPI community members in celebration of intersectional identity and culture.
It also featured a tale of two dragons; Joan, a dragon created in 2019 by Irene Yu for Lin Howe Elementary (whose mascot is the sea-dragon) is a charming red and gold fabric costume, worn by more than a dozen dancers to celebrate Lunar New Year. Joan was on hand to start the dancing, and was then joined by the newest dragon, Betty.
Betty is over 100 feet long, and is made of recycled card stock, donated to the schools by The Comic Bug. The stunning dragon was designed by Irene Yu, and Betty is an incredible work of art. Students from all the schools in the district came together to create the amazing dragon, and dance her through the Night Market as part of the evening’s celebration.
Although the event coincided with Lunar New Year, not all Asian Pacific cultures celebrate the holiday. Those who do – Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese – were all represented during the program with a bit of cultural tradition, and some easy pronunciation lessons on New Year’s greetings.
There is still more dragon playtime planned; there is a full schedule of visits to the schools for the rest of the month. Betty the Dragon will be visiting on February 13 at Linwood Howe, February 14 at El Rincon, February 16 at Farragut, February 21 at the Office of Child Development, and CCMS, February 23 at El Marino and March 1 at La Ballona.