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Dragon Day 2014

by: Sarah Marie Bruno

Every school has its share of traditions—strange activities and festivities that would, to any sane outsider, appear like some strange pagan ritual. Cornell is no exception to this rule, and I would like to tell you about my own favorite Cornell tradition: Dragon Day, a tradition that is over 100 years old.

Each spring, the first year architecture students construct a dragon. Then, the day before Spring Break begins, they march the dragon through campus in a huge parade.

The Dragon emerges out of the architecture school.

The Dragon emerges out of the architecture school.

Architecture students who are not responsible for carrying the dragon dress up in costumes and form the dragon’s colorful entourage as it makes its way from the architecture school to the engineering quad.

This year, even Putin, Hillary, and Kim Jong Il, were in attendance.

This year, even Putin, Hillary, and Kim Jong Il, were in attendance.

Once the dragon reaches the engineering quad, it comes face to face with the Phoenix, built by the engineering students. In past years, the dragon and phoenix would then engage in a battle, usually involving flames. While actual flames are no longer allowed, the battle is eagerly anticipated by all participants!

Students pose by the Phoenix as it awaits the coming of the Dragon

Students pose by the Phoenix as it awaits the coming of the Dragon

This year both the dragon and the phoenix were met with a surprise when the physics students decided to get involved in the tradition, constructing their very own mythical creature. They chose to build a unicorn, modeled after the character “Twilight Sparkle” from My Little Pony, which came galumphing out the Physical Sciences Building and joined the parade.

The physicists triumphantly march their unicorn in the parade.

The physicists triumphantly march their unicorn in the parade.

I enjoy this tradition, because it is a chance for students from the various schools in this large, diverse university to come together for one goofy celebration. It provides some lighthearted and creative fun before Spring Break. We Cornellians work hard at our studies, but we are not afraid to have a good time and make fun of ourselves. In future years, I hope to see mythological creatures emerging from the other disciplines. Plant sciences maybe? Audrey Two, anyone?