Asian Student Union celebrates Lunar New Year

Alexis Nieman, Media Editor

Last Wednesday night, Gottesman transformed into a lively celebration for one of the most celebrated and important Chinese holidays, Lunar New Year. Also known as Chinese New Year, it celebrates the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon. Each new year is represented by an animal. 2020 is the year of the rat. 

This was the third Lunar New Year celebration that was hosted Asian Student Union (ASU). The event, which was held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., had a line out the door of students waiting to get the free buffet food that was catered by P.F Chang’s, cotton candy in the shape of a flower and various activities and crafts for guests to enjoy. Students were also able to learn origami and read their fortunes.

During Lunar New Year, one of the most important activities is traveling to spend time with family and reaching out to old friends. Traditionally, families enjoy big dinners, exchanging gifts and money and welcoming in the new year. People also make sure to have their debts repaid, their houses cleaned and all of their presents bought for the big night.

Freshman communications major Sandra Chen is the secretary for ASU. This is her first time planning and attending Lunar New Year. Chen usually plans the weekly meetings for ASU, and this was the first big event that she was involved in for the club. Her goal for the evening was to ensure that everyone came together and had a fun time celebrating a beloved holiday. 

“Coming to Pace, I didn’t expect such a big Asian community,” Chen said. “I appreciate how everyone gets together to celebrate the culture and just have a fun time.”

The Lunar New Year event is one of the two biggest events that ASU puts on each year. Holi, an Indian festival, is an event that is thrown in the Spring.  

Anjali Mangal, the senior vice president of ASU, said that the club tried to mix things up this year by having new ideas for this event and not having the same crafts as years past. 

“The goals for this event were for everyone to have fun and to bring awareness to different cultures like Chinese new year, being able to celebrate it and show everyone that this is a part of the Chinese culture,” Mangal said. 

Chen, who celebrates the holiday with her family every year, looks forward to enjoying yearly traditions.

“My favorite tradition is spending time with my family,” Chen said. “We would have dinner at each family’s house, a big Chinese dinner with noodles, rice, broccoli, and we would exchange red envelopes with money in them. The adults give them to children who aren’t married yet, and they symbolize health, luck and happiness.”