The New Year is here. Well, at least for Asian Lunar Calenderers it is– a time of food, friends and fireworks. And a new start. That’s why the Asian American Student Union (AASU) decided to host a celebration in honor of the holiday.
The Lunar New Year is a big event in many Asian countries, with festivities easily lasting up to 15 days.
Families will clean out their houses in order to rid themselves of any ill fate and make way for good luck, said Chou Tran, an event attendee and P5. People are given days off from work and school in order to fully participate.
At the event, AASU had several students providing entertainment through music, the option of people having their names written in Chinese calligraphy and people playing pool in the corner. And lots of spicy Asian chips. Dumplings had been made, and bright red envelopes with gold writing were passed around with little trinkets inside.
In general, the specifics of the celebrations differ from country to country, but the values stay the same. It is a time for people to remember their ancestors, honor their deities and ensure luck in the New Year: whether through dragon dances, purchasing new clothing, the giving of money or the setting off of fireworks.
Everyone wants “lucky luck,” said Chou.
Events like AASU’s give exchange students and international students a chance to feel at home, Americans the chance to learn about the different cultures and everyone the opportunity to mingle and have fun.
Kat Lui, president of AASU, said, “People around the world come from different cultures, but we like coming together—we’re different, but [yet] the same.”
She feels that, especially in rural areas like Ada, it is really important for people to expose themselves to that which is different, and get a feel for how others live their lives—what they value and what they do.
It’s about getting together, making friends, visiting family and showing respect, said Chou. It’s a great way to start the year off strong—the way you want to go.