Lunar New Year Festival
Sophia Lim, Section Editor
On Feb. 26, Saint Martin’s University celebrated the Lunar New Year in the Norman Worthington Conference Center. The festival, hosted by the International Club, provided an opportunity for students of all cultural backgrounds to gather together and enjoy the festivities that surround this celebration. Also called Chinese New Year, the event is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar that is marked in coordination to the cycles of the moon. Just as many celebrate Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day because it marks the beginning of the calendar, Lunar New Year does the same. For 2019, Chinese New Year fell on Feb. 5, and celebrated the new zodiac animal. This year, it is the Pig.
The Saint Martin’s community gathered together to enjoy cultural performances, eat delicious Chinese food, and participate in fun games and activities. The International Club even performed a song and played a Chinese instrument. The event included games and raffle prizes as well. However, many of the attendees claimed their favorite part was the food that was provided and catered by Three Little Sisters. The menu included beef chow-mein, rice, sweet and sour chicken, green beans, and spicy beef. There was a Lion dance performance as well as other cultural dances, such as the traditional Chinese fan dance. Among the many activities for the night, one involved dancing along with the customary music.
A Saint Martin’s student who attended the festival shared how the dances from that night were such a moving experience that it stuck with her. The Dragon Dance was a dramatic and intense performance that kept up with the fast-pace beat of the taiko drums, but the dragons danced around in a playful demeanor as they interacted and mingled with the crowd. “It was like we were literally playing with dragons,” says sophomore Maia Lesarof. As fun as the celebrations were, it also meant a lot to the Chinese members of the International Club. They were able to celebrate an important part of their culture in a place far away from home, and were granted the opportunity to share it with others.