As Chinese New Year approaches, so does the Eighth Annual Lunar New Year Celebration to usher in the Year of the Pig.
Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, Feb. 5 in accordance with the new moon. Festivities take place for the next 15 days until the first full moon. This is because the traditional Chinese calendar utilizes a lunisolar calendar system to mark time. Festivities typically include putting up decorations such as paper lanterns, setting off firecrackers and fireworks, dance parades, family gatherings with traditional feasts, handing out red envelopes and exchanging gifts.
In Chinese culture, the color red represents luck and good fortune. As a result, it is the primary color used in festivities. Money is often placed in small red envelopes decorated in gold Chinese characters and given to children. Red paper lanterns are hung around the home and in the street in order to drive away any bad luck. Firecrackers are used throughout the celebration because it is believed to scare off bad spirits. Lion and dragon dancing is popular and seen in parades with teams of experienced dancers mimicking the movements of the animal in costumes to bring good luck to the people.
Every year the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the animals from the Chinese Zodiac. This year is the Year of the Pig, the 12th and final animal of the zodiac. The personality traits of the pig include a gentle and helpful nature, a strong heart and being well-behaved. As a result, this upcoming year is thought to be especially lucky as the pig is representative of wealth.
The Eighth Annual Lunar New Year Celebration is set to take place on Saturday, Feb. 16 and will be featuring many on-campus organizations. The event is co-hosted by the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA) and the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA). The event will be semi-formal with dinner served at 6 p.m. and cultural performances beginning at 7 p.m. with an intermission. The event is free and open to all undergraduate students.
“Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays celebrated in Chinese and Vietnamese culture so I think attending this event would be a great way to experience diversity on campus,” Annie Gao, a sixth-semester chemical engineering major and vice president of CUSA, said.
Some of the performances will include UConn Taiko, UConn CUSAxVSA Dance, JW Team and Richmond Siu x Takahide Bi will be featured as student performers. Not only this, but UConn China Care will be speaking at the event and professional performers will also be a part of the cultural performances.
“My favorite part of the event is seeing people from so many different backgrounds come together to celebrate in unity,” Gao said.
The celebration will take place at Rome Ballroom from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 16.
Brandon Barzola is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.