A new year for America is not the same as a new year for China. This year, the Chinese are celebrating the Year of the Snake, which officially began Sunday.
This new year was also celebrated by Winslow Dining Hall on Wednesday with some traditional Chinese dishes.
Also known in translation as spring festival, according to chinesenewyear.info, this holiday is celebrated with parades, reunions of families and other regional traditions. In some cultures, people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children money for luck. The color red represents prosperity, fortune, good luck and ultimate happiness.
During the traditional Chinese New Year, there is a Lantern Festival, which is held on the 15th day of their lunar month, February. In many areas, the highlight of the Lantern Festival is the dragon dance.
The dragon, which can stretch to nearly 100 feet long, is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Traditionally, the dragon is carried by young men as they dance through the streets.
“As we live in a very diverse world, it is important for all of us to understand the dynamics of cultural diversity,” said Susan Drake, faculty adviser for International Cultures and Languages Association. “The Chinese New Year celebration is a fun and enjoyable way to get a taste of another culture.”
In America, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with more American traditions that typically involve parades with marching bands and floats. Winslow hosted its third annual Chinese New Year celebration. Activities included chopstick races and door prizes were given out.
“This is the first time I went to Winslow for an international meal,” said Colby Shaw, junior from Bowling Green, Ky. “I enjoyed experiencing the food from a different culture.”
Jie Wu, professor of Chinese, worked with Drake to prepare a program of presentations and performances from students in Wu’s Chinese culture classes and Chinese international students.
“I think it was a good idea for the international students to be involved and share their culture with us, since we share ours with them,” said Carley Sommer, freshman from St. Louis, Mo.
Winslow plans to continue its celebration for this Chinese holiday in future years. Drake said in
the Chinese culture, this is the time when families get together and enjoy good food, and she wants the students to experience that same feeling on campus.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer.