Millions of people across the world celebrated the Lunar New Year with food, firecrackers, family reunions and reflection. Essex University was no exception, with the Student’s Union organising a whole week of events in collaboration with ISA, CCCS and CSSA.
From Taiwan to Vietnam, Malaysia to China, the Lunar New Year is a festival typically celebrated around Asia. It falls on Sunday, on the 22nd of January, and it marks the end of the Zodiac Year of the Tiger and the beginning of the Rabbit year which is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity.
It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later. The lunar calendar is based on the moon’s cycles; therefore, the holiday dates might vary from year to year between January 21 and February 20, according to western calendars.
The week started off with a line to get free gift bags that had some Asian souvenirs such as chopsticks, chocolate gold coins, fortune cookies and noodles. And the week’s line up continued with a mixer and K-Pop night at the In-Between.
“We had a good attendance to all of our events, but on Monday we had to cut off the cue for the gift bags. We weren’t expecting so many people, there was about 200 people coming in, so next year we need to level up our game,” said Marcus Wong, VP International.
On Wednesday the Square 3 of our campus saw many students coming along to watch the performance of the K-Pop society that put a magnificent dance show to the sound of Black Pink with only one week of rehearsals.
Despite the dark skies and low temperatures, everyone stayed to enjoy the Lion Dance performed by the Kudus Marshal Arts Academy. The Lion Dance is a traditional performance meant to bring good fortune and chase away evil spirits. It’s one of the most important traditions of the Chinese New Year as it brings prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year.
The Lunar New year crafts events are fantastic for those who want to get creative in a quiet and relaxing environment. It’s a way of learning something new whilst meeting and chatting with new people.
From making your own charm bracelet to learning Chinese calligraphy, the crafts workshops were always full. All materials were provided, and students could count with Jessie, Asian officer, to teach the art of the Chinese calligraphy.
“People draw the letter that means luck on the paper, but they stick on their house doors upside down because according to tradition means that luck will come” explained Marcus.
The ISA and our VP international represent all international students and their interests. Be sure to email them if you have any suggestions for culture events that you want to put on.