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Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year Celebration: Performances, Food and Culture

Lunar New Year | Photo by Pratyukti Dahal | The Wright State Guardian


On Monday, Feb. 12, Lunar New Year celebrations commenced in the Student Union Atrium for the Year of the Dragon, complete with drums, fanmaking, dumplings and more.

Lunar New Year here and abroad

In Asia and throughout the world, nearly two billion people celebrate the Lunar New Year. These countries include (but are not limited to) Vietnam, China, Singapore, Tibet and Japan.

The Asian Student Association, University Center for International Education and Korean Club prepared this particular event. Planning ramped up this January, but the groups have planned the event since last year.

“So [ASA] did a lot of the planning. We gathered a bunch of people together to collaborate on this event, such as the drummers, and we brought in the Korean Club as well. We also organized the people working here and the general decoration,” Ayumi Enorme, president of ASA, said.

Lunar New Year celebrations typically last up to 15 days, with celebratory activities including cleaning the home, gifting red envelopes and eating traditional foods. Official dates vary by culture, but many utilize the holiday to reunite with family and friends to eat and partake in activities.

Director of the Asian and Native American Center Dr. Nicolyn Woodcock clarified that Lunar New Year is often referred to as the Chinese New Year, but this is actually inaccurate. Referring to the celebrations as the Lunar New Year is much more inclusive of all the other countries and ethnicities that celebrate in different ways.

Woodcock reflected on personal experiences with the Lunar New Year.

“I myself celebrated the Lunar New Year for the very first time when I was in college,” Woodcock said. “I didn’t have a lot of friends who were from other Asian ethnicities, and it was when I went to college that I first really learned about the Lunar New Year.”

Enjoying the show

One of the traditional foods eaten is pork and vegetable dumplings, which Wright State’s food service, Quest, provided, along with lo mein. The WSU community settled down with their food to make crafts and listen to the beats of both groups of cultural performers.

Last year’s celebrations did not include any performers.

Before, during or after the shows, students could peruse tables to do button-making or color a Sam Taegeuk fan with Korean Club, talk about study abroad with UCIE, visit ASA or have their Chinese fortune told.

On the stage, the Ohio Samulnori group performed first. Samulnori is a Korean genre of percussion music. It is performed with four traditional Korean instruments based on a principle fluctuation between tension and relaxation as the performers seek to achieve the perfect integration of the four instruments.

Anyone may join the group but must have extensive experience in the aforementioned instruments. The group has decades of experience. Together, they perform at local universities and community events.

“We want to show at the university for the younger generation. Our culture is totally different for younger generations,” Teresa Shim, a member of the group, said.

The second group to perform was RMD Ohio, which is the Ohio branch of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, a creative Eisa group founded in 1982 in Okinawa, Japan. The group has approximately 2,500 members across 45 branches.

RMD performed a combination of folk dance and drumming in their performance.

The group is currently recruiting; readers can reach out to the group through their Instagram. There is no experience necessary.

Celebrating events such as Lunar New Year allows WSU to provide an open, welcoming environment to students of all backgrounds. For those curious about upcoming events similar to this, Engage lists many events from ASA, Korean Club and other culture-based organizations.


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