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“UMass Lowell students practice Chinese calligraphy as part of the event. (Marilyn Saha/Connector)
Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival,” is typically celebrated between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, depending on the day when the new moon appears. This year, Chinese New Year took place on Jan. 28, initiating the Year of the Rooster.
For the first time this year, students who are a part of the Chinese Students & Scholars Association organized an event to celebrate the Chinese New Year at UMass Lowell. The celebration took place on Feb. 10, 2017 between the hours of 5:30p.m. and 8:00p.m. at University Crossing.
Over 200 students and faculty of all ethnicities gathered in Moloney Hall to appreciate the day. There were various booths with traditional activities from China. These booths included calligraphy, shuttlecock, riddles, Chinese paper cutting, ping-pong and color filling. Once a student visited every booth, they were eligible to play ring toss to potentially win prizes such as a waffle maker, a coffee maker, rhythm speakers, teddy bears and schools supplies.
Surbhi Mavi, an international student from India, said she really enjoyed the celebration. “I learned a lot about how they celebrate this auspicious event and what zodiac signs they have. I also won a set of speakers in the ring toss. I would love to attend again next year,” she said.
CSSA started planning this day during winter break. The main organizers were Anna Jiang, Chenxi Wang and Jingsi Hu. They wanted to maintain the Chinese style and be as culturally diverse as possible. When planning the activities, they tried to stay traditional. Ping-pong is popular all over the world, however not too many people know about shuttlecock which is known as Ti Jianzi in Chinese.
Calligraphy is also one of the lesser known activities. Jiang said, “Calligraphy is the essence of China. People will adore you if you have really good hand writing in calligraphy.”
Dinner was served once the event began to wind down. The food included various styles of Chinese cuisine. There were Chinese noodles, sesame balls, sweet and sour pork, pigs feet, potatoes and beef and rice.
“Food is one of the most important objects that best represents the culture of the country. We just want people to experience our culture and let Chinese students feel like they are home,” said Jiang.
Additionally, Jiang and the rest of CSSA said attendance exceeded their expectations. “I personally think this event was definitely successful. As you can see, there were a lot of Chinese people and other people from different countries who attended. That is what we want to do. We want Chinese students to have more connection with our school and we want to spread out our Chinese culture. We like the fact that UMass Lowell is being more diverse,” she said.