University welcomes year of the dog

Nicole Weible

Participants of the Chinese New Year ate traditional Chinese food at the celebration in the Student Center Ballroom Saturday. The Chinese Student and Scholar Association sponsored the event. MEGHAN GAURILOFF | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Chinese New Year’s Eve celebration is a little different than popping open a bottle of champagne at the stroke of midnight.

Saturday, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association celebrated the Chinese New Year.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, this is the year of the dog. Each year, the 12 zodiac animals alternate and bring new meaning to the new year.

“The dog symbolizes friendliness, loyalty and cooperation,” said Jinghuan Liu, cultural foundations major and vice president of the organization.

Jinghuan was born in the year of the dog. According to Chinese tradition, those born in that year must wear red everyday. Red symbolizes good luck. Similar to Christmas decorations in America, the Chinese decorate their homes in red to keep evil away. By wearing red, evil will stay away for the whole year.

The Chinese New Year celebration in the ballroom was a way to gather together with friends and celebrate tradition. On New Year’s Day, the Chinese are in good spirits.

“If you fight or cry, it means you will be fighting and crying for the whole year,” said Miao Liu, a member of the association.

The celebration consisted of traditional dances and songs by various performers. Similarly, in China, families usually sit at home together and listen to ethnic music and watch dancing performances on television. It is also a time to visit with friends and family. The elders usually sit at home while friends and family come to visit. Children must bow down to their grandparents on New Year’s Day. In return, they receive money. The money symbolizes good fortune for the rest of the year.

Spring rolls, dumplings and rice bowls were served at the celebration.

The Chinese celebrate for 15 days after the New Year. Traditionally, the 15 days are supposed to be days of rest. However, according to Miao, many Chinese have strayed from tradition. Now, the Chinese take the opportunity to travel and go to parties.

The Chinese Student and Scholar Association usually celebrates major Chinese holidays. The also have a mid-autumn festival and an Independence Day celebration.

Contact international affairs reporter Nicole Weible at [email protected]