Chinese New Year in Chinese culture is considered the most important time of the year. Rooted in traditions and customs passed down through the ages, the celebration lasts for 15 days and is full of family, food, and good fortune. This celebration was presented by the Chinese and Taiwanese Student Associations and began at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb 15. at Pius X Catholic Student Center.
“The Chinese New Year is the most important festival for Chinese families to have a reunion,” said Zhanghong Jin, senior in Finance major and the Chinese Student Association (CSA) president. “Chinese people will meet their relatives and have dinner together, children will prepare performances for grandparents, and parents will give luck money through a red packet to children to wish them healthy and clever.”
Jin also said that people light fireworks and fire crackers, eat dumplings, rice cakes, fish, spring rolls and noodles during the holiday.
“Chinese Student Association is an important link between chinese students and local people… We believe we can share Chinese culture to Pittsburg by hosting events like Chinese New Year Party.” Jin said, “We provided the most traditional and popular Chinese foods. I think everything went really good for the event.”
The holiday is based upon the lunar calendar which indicates both the moon phase and lunisolar calendar. Every Chinese New Year is always represented by one of the twelve animals that make the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac: the rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. 2019 represents the year of the pig.
“The Chinese New Year is the first day of the lunar calendar, but the celebration can last for days if not weeks,” said Yaping Liu, assistant professor of mathematics and CSA advisor. “Traditionally, people wear their best clothes, have firecrackers, visit neighbors, friends, and relatives, have big meals.” he said, “It’s a time for family reunion and fun… People say good luck or good fortune to each other at home or on the street, and everyone is happy and jolly. Different regions have different traditional foods, but everyone eat dumplings. That’s almost universal.”
Liu said that they had been planning for Chinese New Year for many weeks.
“I’m glad that students from different regions and different cultural backgrounds can come together to make this event a great success…” Liu said. “Unexpectedly the weather tonight was really bad, but we still had a big crowd… Everything went well, and I think everyone had a wonderful time.”
The celebration brought students of all years and backgrounds together to experience a new culture and tradition.
“The students worked really hard. It is jointly planned and participated by students from China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the Pittsburg area.”
“I have heard a lot about this event and I really wanted to experience the Chinese culture for this night,” said Talha Khan, graduate student in construction management.
Khan said that he enjoyed the performances and the traditional food.
“I think that the Chinese Student Association made a great effort in showing their traditions and customs… I had a good time in participating the event.” Khan said.