EL MONTE – Red lanterns and Chinese artwork decorated the El Monte Union High School District office complex, heralding the Year of the Ox and greeting the community during a socially distanced drive-thru Lunar New Year festival on Feb. 26.

El Monte Union students and families enjoyed the traditional cuisine, entertainment and gifts that accompany this special day on the lunar calendar, signaling the beginning of spring and bringing tidings of good fortune, wealth, and longevity. The festivities culminated with a presentation of red envelopes, full of chocolate coins, to students.

“El Monte is rich with multicultural traditions that bring our families and communities closer together,” El Monte Union Director of Assessment, Accountability and Family Engagement Edith Echeverria said. “This year, more than ever, it is important that we continue to celebrate these generational milestones and let our families know that the District is invested in their health, safety and well-being, as well as academic achievement.”

Families entered a tunnel adorned with traditional Lunar New Year décor, opened the trunks of their cars, then stopped at several stations to receive items that included water and tea; a meal of orange chicken, fried rice, stir-fry vegetables, chow mein, dumplings and dessert; and a tote bag filled with school supplies and a tumbler with the District logo.

“The Immortals” entertained guests with a traditional Lion Dance incorporating brightly colored lion and dragon costumes, gongs and symbols.

The Lunar New Year celebration was made possible thanks to District administrators, faculty and staff, as well as parent volunteers. This is the second socially distanced cultural celebration the District has staged during the 2020-21 school year, following the successful Posada holiday event in December 2020.

“El Monte Union is blessed to have the support of so many hard working and dedicated staff members who want to keep our traditions alive and support our community,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Though our contact was limited, it was good to have an opportunity to see our families and wish them well. We look forward to the day that we can once again see all of our students at school.”


022621_EMUHSD_LUNARNEWYEAR1: El Monte Union High School District families drive-thru the District office complex, heralding the Year of the Ox and celebrating the Lunar New Year Feb. 26.

022621_EMUHSD_LUNARNEWYEAR2: El Monte Union High School District staff present gifts to students and families during the District’s Lunar New Year drive-thru celebration Feb. 26.