On Feb. 27, 2016, the Chinese Student Association, Han Traditional Culture Club and Language Exploration Club sponsored the Lunar New Year Celebration to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. The celebration and featured authentic Chinese food and traditional Chinese performances. Tickets were $5 when purchased in advance and $8 at the door, and tickets for children under two were free. The food was free for everyone who paid the entrance fee.
“The Lunar New Year is the celebration of the harvest and very much based on the lunar calendar,” explained Li Liu, one of the event planners and study abroad campus coordinator. “The lunar calendar is based on cycles of the lunar phases and guiding important agricultural activities throughout the year. It also determines the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and the Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, marks the beginning of spring, hence the name ‘Spring Festival’.” Since the calendar is based on the moon cycles, the date of Lunar New Year this year was Jan. 28.
As this is an important festival in China, as well as in other Asian countries, Bellevue College held the event on campus for everyone to enjoy. “The most important aspect of the celebration is family reunion. On the eve of the Lunar New Year, family members should get together and have the most important dinner of the year together,” said Liu. In the spirit of that, the CSA ordered Chinese food from Henry’s Taiwan. “In order to let foreign audiences feel as they are in China, we have made every effort to make the party as ‘Chinese’ as possible,” said the officers of the Chinese Student Association. This was the second Lunar New Year celebration at Bellevue College, with this year having “terrific Chinese food and better performances,” said Liu.
The celebration began at 6:00 p.m., and many BC students filed into the cafeteria to help themselves to the Chinese candy placed on each table and converse with fellow attendees. Everyone who attended was served large plates of Chinese food from volunteers. There were also tables set up with different Taiwanese and Chinese teas to try.
Afterwards, attendees were treated to show. The performances, demonstrated on BC’s cafeteria stage, consisted of nine different acts. Traditional Chinese dances were performed, such as a lion dance and a fan dance, which are common Lunar New Year traditions. Other acts included a piano performance, a band performance and a short skit.
Raffles were also highlights of the night, and winners were given prizes, such as plane tickets from Delta Airlines. The night ended with a performance from BC’s flash mob.