The Opening Ceremony

"Surely we could make a few changes to the ceremony... For example, does it have to be at 4am?" Jenny pleaded.
  The opening ceremony is a long kept tradition held at the grand hall at Taru International Academy. The ceremony begins when all of the students have arrived at the academy from their voyage. Junk boats can't carry too many students at once, and many teachers aren't keen to sail students to the academy at Yoko Island because of the terrible amount of paperwork one has to fill if a student goes overboard, which means that it can take a very long time for all students to arrive. Usually the opening ceremony will begin at 3 or 4am, which means the students will be very tired and will surely have had quite a lot of sugar and energy potions beforehand.   For such reasons, there is no class the following day.

Execution

For the past five years, the ceremony has begun with Li Na, a Cantari caretaker who works to maintain the classrooms. She often wears red medium sleeved cheongsam for the opening ceremony, which elegantly holds a feminine shape down to her feet. Without introducing herself, she will sing a traditional song in Cantari about travelling through the passing of seasons and leaving home to find knowledge. The song acts as a reminder to students to quickly find their seats.   After the song, Alice Monaghan will walk on the stage, with a large bowl standing on a short white stone pillar in front of her. She will announce a welcome to each clan one by one, throwing a potion into the bowl that will emit sparks, sounds and energy into the grand hall. Then, she will whisper words for the cauldron to disappear from view, and give a speech to the students.  
"As a wise person once shared, our school motto is to learn from a variety of places, to ask until you satisfy your desire to learn, to reflect meticulously, to distinguish clearly between truth and lies and finally to manifest that which you have learnt."
  After the speech, entertainment begins. Nekhii introduces the Medev├ęk Culture Club, who plays through a few songs accompanied by wuxia dances. After, the students are free to eat food, and several other acts will appear on stage.   After dinner has been eaten, students are informed the ceremony is officially over, and most will wander sleepily off to their dormitories. Some choose to remain to party and may take it in turns to raid the stage and sing their own songs.

Components and tools

The grand hall will contain several long dining tables, and clans will traditionally sit together during the opening ceremony. The tables, chairs, windows and pillars are adorned with several banners and tapestries representing the school clans , their colours and any other school motifs. New students are automatically part of the Yellow Dragon clan, so will sit by tables with yellow table cloth and furnishings. The food served is an international buffet, and when there is not an important announcement or speech, students may help themselves and fetch the food that they prefer   At the initial beginning of the ceremony, there will be a strong smell of particular scents of incense to symbolise harmony, unity and a new beginning. The incense is removed when the celebration dinner begins.     Throughout the ceremony, floating lantern will drift across the air. Special effects such as bubbles, flames, petals and illusions weave through acts that perform on a stage. Once the students are granted formal permission to leave, a few posters reminding students of the benefits of sleep will appear by the walls. These are often destroyed by sleep-deprived, sugar-high students who wish to continue the party.
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