Chinese New Year celebrates with food, family and giveaways

Sofia Rositani Reporter

The Chinese Lunar New Year was welcomed at Southern through food, tradition and activities.

The event is held annually by the Chinese Student Association and the Multicultural Center. Elu Tu, the Chinese Student Association adviser said the celebration is not just in celebration of Chinese culture but is celebrated by many other Asian cultures as well.

“Chinese Lunar New Year is the biggest event, not just for Chinese, but Korean and Japanese celebrate Lunar New Year as well,” said Tu. “And this year there are 12 zodiac animals, and it is the Year of the Rat.”

According to Tu, during the Year of the Rat in the story where the 12 animals race, the rat places first bringing wealth, abundance and fertility.

Last year for the Lunar New Year it was the Year of the Pig, which meant wealth and fortune for those who were born in 2019. Next year the Lunar cycle will continue with Year of the Ox, bringing wealth to those born in the coming year, 2021.

However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, which started in Wuhan, China and has been spreading in more countries, including the U.S, president of the Chinese Student Association Paula Dobles said there were discussions to cancel the event.

“We decided since it doesn’t seem like an immediate danger for us in New Haven, especially for us in Southern specifically, we are still going to do it,” said Dobles. “It’s going to be a little toned down we are not going to have the activities that we usually have, unfortunately, but we are still going to have food, and explain the celebrations.”

Dobles said even if the students do not know there is a Chinese club, they do know that there will always be a Lunar New Year Celebration held.

Many students came to the event, but faculty also decided to join in on the festivities such as Shabrell Sherrod, Disability Resource Center secretary.

“I decided to come because I heard it was good food, good atmosphere,” said Sherrod, “and I wanted to learn about what is going on exactly.”

The Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration featured red envelopes to signify good luck and to ward off evil spirits, as well as lots of food like rice, broccoli, beef and dumplings.

The event also had activities such as calligraphy, and a selfie area where students and faculty were able to take photos in front of a backdrop with different Year of the Rat decals to hold.

Sabrina Maldonado, graduate intern at the Multicultural Center said she hopes the event helps students better understand the celebration of the Lunar New Year.

“We just hope that the students take away what this is and why it’s important,” said Maldonado, “and that’s why we provide them with details like flyers on the table, and it’s also just a celebration of family.”

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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