CLINTON —Students of Pangaea International Academy and their parents celebrated the Chinese New Year with Clinton High School students, their families and members of the community Sunday with songs and dances from both China and the United States.

Falling at the end of January or first of February each year, New Year is the most important holiday in China, according to Pangaea's Ping Dou. The date changes every year because its based on the lunar calendar and when the Chinese plant crops.

PIA celebrated the coming of the year of the pig with a two-hour program in a full auditorium on the PIA campus. The program included the traditional dragon dance, a taiji sword demonstration and traditional Chinese dance as well as songs performed in Chinese or English, hip-hop style dancing, piano, ballet and a lion dance.

Parents of the Chinese students were in Clinton to celebrate the New Year with their children and with the community; several parents performed Sunday afternoon.

The assembly closed with a combined chorus of American and Chinese students singing "America the Beautiful" in English and "Happy New Year" in Chinese.

A native of Centerville, Winona comes to the Clinton Herald after writing for the Ottumwa Courier for two years.