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The Year of the Rabbit: Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year | Graphic from participating organizations

As the 2023 Lunar New Year arrives, Asian organizations on campus plan cultural immersion events to bring the celebration to the rest of the Wright State University community. 

History of Lunar New Year

In China, the new year dates back to the 1300s B.C. under Emperor Wu of Han, according to the History channel website

The Lunar New Year, which spans through East and Southeast Asian cultures, is a multi-day celebration, which Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and other communities celebrate.

Lunar New Year today

At WSU, the Asian communities have worked together to host events for the Lunar New Year, according to Ryan Diaz, president of the Asian Student Association. Diaz explained that the 2023 celebration begins on Jan. 22 and depends on the lunar schedule.

ASA is collaborating with the University Center of International Education, Chinese Club and Korean Club to host the events, according to Abigail Bond, president of Korean Club and Chinese Club. 

The first event occurs on Monday, Jan. 23 in the Student Union Atrium: an arts and crafts event where students can make Chinese lanterns while enjoying free food and snacks, according to Bond.

Additionally, a Chinese language professor at WSU will be holding a Chinese calligraphy demonstration along with an origami presentation from an ASA associate. Finally, fun, educational information will be available about Korean and Chinese culture. 

Importance of events

This is the first year since the pandemic that the Asian communities on campus have been able to fully celebrate the Lunar New Year without restrictions, Diaz voiced. COVID-19 forced the Asian organizations to hold events on a much smaller scale; however, Diaz mentioned a fun event from the 2021 celebration.

“Last year, a couple of us dressed up in the lion dance costume and ran around campus and gave out free East Asian treats,” Diaz said.

Both Diaz and Bond urge students to attend the celebrations of the Lunar New Year. 

“[There is a] large population of Asian students on campus, and this is a big holiday for them. People should understand this is a big deal for them. It’s important for people to engage and learn about the multicultural communities we have on campus,” Bond said.

Diaz highlighted the free food, snacks and traditional Eastern candy to try. For more information about the upcoming celebrations, visit the ASA Engage page.