WHITTIER – There are a few things that kindergartners at Hoover Elementary School think others should know before celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday. First and foremost, never cry on New Year’s Day – or you’ll cry all year long. Second, people should wear red because it symbolizes goodness. And finally, don’t be frightened by the fierce lion featured in many Chinese New Year celebrations. “The lion sweeps away the evil spirits and brings good luck and happiness,” kindergartner Rachel Mendoza said Friday, just before she joined her fellow classmates in performing the traditional Lion Dance. The children, dressed in authentic Chinese clothing that many parents bought in Chinatown, slowly paraded into the school’s multipurpose room to the sound of pounding drums, followed by a giant pinata lion. They danced, bowed, recited poetry, and wrapped up their brief New Year celebration by performing to the song “Kung Fu Fighting,” kicking their legs up in the air and making chopping motions with their hands. This is the fifth year that kindergarten teacher Letty Mendoza has organized the Chinese New Year event as part of the class’s multicultural studies section. Instead of just telling students about the event, or showing them pictures of it, teachers decided the children could put on their own program, with a lot of help from parent volunteers. “What’s nice is that a lot of parents went to Chinatown and the kids were able to experience that culture,” said teacher Susan Perez. Angelina Aragon, 24, said she liked the idea of her daughter, Alyssa Flores, learning about different cultures at school. “And I loved the program,” Aragon said afterward during a Chinese food potluck. “I thought it was all so cute and it turned out really well for the whole class.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!