Now that we are 30-some odd moons into 2021, it is time once again to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
The Newman University Asian Student Association (ASA) and the Multicultural Leadership Organization (MCLO) are helping to make this an especially exciting time for the student body.
Senior Karen Do, ASA president, explains how the two organizations plan to help celebrate the Lunar New Year.
“MCLO and ASA are having our annual collaboration to celebrate Lunar New Year,” said Do. “We have three events next week where we will be playing games, making lanterns and giving out gifts.”
The events will all occur from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but they each fall on different days and are each set in different locations.
The relay games will be held Monday, Feb. 8, in the Fugate Student Center; the lucky money tree will be set up in the Bishop Gerber Science Center lower level lobby on Wednesday, Feb. 10; and there will be food and entertainment on Friday, Feb. 12, in the Dugan Library.
*Edit: The relay games have been postponed until Friday due to weather.
Senior Dania Jumpa, president of the MCLO, elaborated on the significance of the holiday.
“Lunar New Year is a celebration of the first new moon of the lunar calendar, so it is based on the cycles of the moon. This year, it falls on Feb. 12. It is typically celebrated in China and other Asian countries, including Vietnam.”
Jumpa said the symbolism and themes that emerge from this celebration are important.
“The festivities center around family celebrations and coming together to honor each other, tradition and unity as they welcome the new year. Associated with each new year is one of the 12 animals from the Asian lunar zodiac, with this new year being the year of the ox.”
In addition to general themes, Dania also mentioned some personal connections to Lunar New Year, and what it represents to her.
“I am of Hispanic descent so my knowledge of Lunar New Year a few years ago was minimal. However, the best part of the celebration is that it does not matter where you are from. This is why it is so important.
“As I have learned from my own previous experiences with my friends, it is more than solely celebrating a new year; it is about celebrating the opportunity that one has to have another year with the ones that they cherish whether they are family, old friends or new friends.”
Jumpa said that it’s important for clubs to engage with the student body in celebratory matters; creating an atmosphere of connection and fun.
“ASA and MCLO really get excited as each Lunar New Year approaches because we know that it is a moment for us to come together and give this message of joy, hope and unity to our Newman Community.
“Both organizations find it important to share the beauty of our cultures with our Newman family so that no one feels like a stranger, but that they feel right at home.”
To learn more about the Lunar New Year, check out this entry from Encyclopedia Britannica.