IN PHOTOS: Lunar New Year Festival
VUCA’s Lunar New Year Eve Celebration on Jan. 24
January 27, 2020
The Vanderbilt University Chinese Association (VUCA) hosted its annual Lunar New Year celebration on Friday, Jan. 24 in the Sarratt Student Center. Over 200 students and community members came together to welcome a new year based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The event theme was red and gold to symbolize traditional colors that bring luck and wealth in Chinese culture. Decorations also honored this year’s zodiac animal, the rat, according to the 12-year Chinese zodiac.
“The New Year represents togetherness, both in terms of friends and family, and newness, which is especially needed right now since China is going through the coronavirus.” VUCA Vice President, Etta Wang said. “I feel like we really need this to get our spirits back on track.”
Attendees enjoyed festivities such as painting words of good luck in ink on red banners and watching a livestream of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala show (Chunwan), which is one of the biggest televised events of the year in China.
“It’s a lot different than celebrating the Chinese New Year at home,” said sophomore Tim (Yiting) Chen, an international student from Kunming, China. “During the festival season, I definitely miss my family but having a group of friends and putting up an event like this really helps a lot.”
Authentic Chinese catering was provided in the form of dumplings, chow mein, traditional style vegetables, pearl milk tea and other delicious dishes.
“Events like this are important since I think a lot of students don’t have experience or have little idea about about cultures outside of theirs,” junior Gwendolyn Goins said.
Attendees were all given red envelopes containing a coin. This gift was meant to symbolize the Chinese tradition of the elderly passing on wealth to the younger generations to bring them prosperity and happiness in the new year.
“The longer I have stayed in the United States, the more I miss the time I have spent with my relatives,” Tim said. “Cause even though they can sometimes be very annoying—they ask about my grades, if I have a date, etc.—but when I’m by myself and I don’t see them that often, those comments now show a way that they care about me.”