Students celebrate Chinese New Year
On Feb. 2, 2019, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA) hosted a Chinese New Years celebration in the Kirby Ballroom. The event included classical music and singing performances, activities and traditional Chinese food.
As a kid CSSA member Xiaojing Liu would celebrate with family; set off fireworks with cousins and eat smoked sausages and dumplings. Usually celebrating the New Year consists of dinner with family and playing Mahjong, a traditional tile game from China.
Another Chinese New Year activity is the tradition of receiving red envelopes. Elders hide money inside and give the envelopes to children for good luck in the new year.
At the event the hosts guided guests to try and make their own red envelopes folded into pig heads. For some students it went better than others.
“Folding the pig was very difficult because the paper was very thick and not square enough,” Chee Xiong, a sophomore, said. “It was fun to struggle with my friends and see others laugh as they tried.”
The celebration is a reminder of home for Liu and other international students.
“Our Chinese New Year event plays a second home for me,” Liu said. “I no longer feel homesick anymore [when] celebrating this festival with a lot of Chinese students, professors, and even some American students who enjoy coming.”
“I can also eat some Chinese food at this event and watch the shows which make me feel that I am not the only international student,” Liu said.
Served at each table were tin foil trays of Stir Fried Green Beans, Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, White Fish and Ginger, Vegetable Egg Rolls, Dumplings, and more.
“My favorite food was the shrimp with the eggrolls being a close second,” Xiong said. “Although everything there was good, it's hard to decide.”
After dinner, performances begun. Many of such were piano pieces by professors children. One performance that stood out was physics graduate student Lauren Harwood singing “Light Chaser.”
“[Chinese New Year] is about going back to the people you love and the people you cherish in your life,” said Harwood. “This event is a great way to get the Chinese community together at UMD and in Duluth.”
The Chinese New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, officially starts on Feb. 5, 2019 and ends on Feb. 19, 2019 with a lantern festival. This year it is the year of the pig.
To find out more about the Chinese New Year, visit here.