Celebrating Lunar New Year

By Lori Wysong
Elm Staff Writer

It’s the Year of the Dog, and to mark the Lunar New Year, the Student Government Association and the Global Education Office hosted a celebration on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Year of the Dog began on Friday, Feb. 16.

Amanda Tran, junior and secretary of diversity for the SGA, said that the GEO has been  hosting the Lunar New Year party for many years now, but has collaborated with the SGA for the past two years.

The Lunar New Year festivities originated at Washington College when, “Foreign exchange students from East Asia celebrated the holiday on their own before contacting the GEO office to make it an all-inclusive event,” Tran said.

Foods such as dim sum, dumplings, fried rice, noodles, and boba tea were a big part of this year’s event.  According to Tran, much of the food at the Lunar New Year party was prepared by international and domestic students.

Sophomore Kevin Vu has participated in the WC Lunar New Year celebration since his freshman year.  “I’m very excited to cook delicious foods for the Lunar New Year party,” he said.

“The sheer amount of effort they put into making all this is super admirable, and I appreciate how it’s brought the community together,” said junior Barbara MacGuigan.

While students were enjoying home-cooked dishes, they could decorate paper lanterns, learn calligraphy, and Chinese knot-tying. There were also traditional East Asian board games, like mahjong, and some students started an intense game of Chinese hackey-sack in the Goose Nest.

According to Vu, the on-campus celebration is more in accordance with Chinese tradition.

“There’s definitely a lot of similarity to the Vietnamese way, since we are neighbors,” he said.

Vu pointed out similarities between the celebration of the Lunar New Year in two cultures, such as the use of lucky money and the veneration of ancestors.

He believes that Lunar New Year is all about spending time with family.

“At WC, Lunar New Year is a time when everyone from all different backgrounds celebrates the New Year as one family. Also, the food is definitely a bonus.”

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