LV Life Editor
Chinese music played in the background as students constructed red and yellow paper lanterns, created decorative wall posters with calligraphy, and ate cultural food to celebrate.
On Feb. 19, first day of the 2015 Chinese New Year, students celebrated on the lawn outside of the campus center.
Chinese New Year uses the lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon.
Cultures that celebrate Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year include Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Cambodian, Thai, Mongolian, Tibetan, Lao, Burmese and more.
The Campus Activities Board, International Student Organization and Chinese Students and Scholars Association planned the event together.
“I think it’s really good because there’s a lot of Chinese students here and they can’t go back home to celebrate,” said Hyun Young Park, freshman accounting major and ISO member, said.
There was an outdoor lunch from Davenport Dining Hall and the first 100 commuters received free lunches.
The lunch menu consisted of traditional and cultural Chinese food, including Chinese green beans with mixed peppers, steamed white rice, chow mein, almond cookies and steamed vegetarian pot stickers.
“It’s a lot of fun, it’s very nice to see a school that diversifies itself and celebrates the cultures of students,” Johnathan Diaz, senior biology major, said.
“(The event) gives a chance to students who are not familiar with the cultures of their peers to get to know their friends better and their history,” he said.
There were tables with glitter, putty paint and red and yellow paper for students to make their own paper lanterns.
Some students took their creations with them while some chose to place them on the walls and the tents at the event along with other students’ crafts.
On another table were black ink, red paper and paintbrushes for students to write calligraphy Chinese phrases wishing for a happy new year. The finished products can be put on walls as decorative posters.
“My favorite part was the crafts, it gives students a chance to contribute to this activity and be involved in people’s history,” Diaz said. “It’s a way for everyone to be involved.”
Diaz was also able to eat the cultural food and he enjoyed it.
There was also a traditional tea set serving green tea and a table set up for students to play mahjong, a traditional Chinese tile game.
CAB, ISO and CSSA gave out red envelopes with chocolate gold coins and zodiac bookmarks.
ISO and CSSA members dressed up in traditional Chinese clothing to celebrate Chinese New Year. They also took photos with students holding a stuffed panda.
“I actually really like it,” said Megan Kelley, freshman athletic training major.
“It’s exciting, it’s fun to celebrate what’s important to others, like good fortune is obviously very important (in the Chinese culture),” she said.
Cody Luk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.