Eastern celebrates Chinese New Year


Raine Zhu | The Daily Eastern News

Raine Zhu | The Daily Eastern News A student decorates a lantern at the Chinese New Year celebration Tuesday evening in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Valentina Vargas, Multicultural Reporter

“Happy New Year” was the phrase heard all throughout the night for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Chinese Students and Scholars, Asian American Association and University Board celebrated in a get-together with students at the Chinese Lunar New Year at the University Ballroom in Martin Luther King Union.

Zoey Zhang, the president of the Chinese Students and Scholars, wore a red lipstick and dress, which she said is the national color in their Chinese culture as seen in their flag.

She said wearing red for the New Year is one of the traditions, which is why she had decided to call the celebration the “red party.”

“Color red always means wealthy, and good luck, and something good will happen in our culture,” Zhang said.

This year marked the Year of the Pig, the last of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar.

Zhang said people have to wait 12 years for it to be the year of their zodiac, and last year was the year of the dog.

“It doesn’t happen very often, so it is something meaningful to you (when it is your zodiac year),” Zhang said.

Zhang said by having events like the Chinese New Year it brings education to people to learn about their culture and build bonds.

“It is a great social format for different cultures to come and communicate,” Zhang said.

Monica Nonez, a student from the language company, said she is from Panama, so for her, coming to the event helped her learn more about new cultures.

“This was my first time, but I really liked the atmosphere (of the celebration),” Nonez said.

Zhang said most of the celebration is to have a family reunion with loved ones, and it is their most important holiday.

She said they traditionally have a 7 to 15 day holiday for this Chinese New Year, so it gives people time to go back home and celebrate with their family.

Zhang said since they have a long celebration the Chinese students will then have more traditional food gatherings and do the lucky money activity if they travel home.

An activity at the event was the red envelope pull, which is an envelope in China that always contains money that is given to children from their parents or grandparents as a Chinese New Year gift.

Bing Bai, a senior, said for him a tradition he has is having families gather and eat dumplings.

“Dumpling is so difficult for us to make, so we don’t have some today,” Bai said.

Traditional Chinese foods served at the celebration were white rice, orange chicken and vegetable rolls.

Students from different culture organizations like the international students or Esperanza lined up to eat the traditional food.

Bai said it was important for him to come to the celebration because the Eastern Chinese community is his family away from home.

Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].