Celebration honors Chinese New Year

File photo by Sarah Hirth // Contributing Photographer

On Monday, the University of Miami will be glistening in red and gold, lanterns will light up the campus, and a vibrant dragon will compel people to follow it into the past.

The University of Miami’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association and Asian American Students Association are hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration. The event, titled “Journey Down the Silk Road,” will celebrate East Asian culture and traditions.

The event will consist of performances and interactive tents. Students will be able to see their name written in calligraphy, observe a Kung Fu exhibition and play games. There will be tents with Chinese, Korean and Japanese foods, as well as food trucks on site.

Planning for the event began in November. Sa Zhang, the logistics director for the event, explained that the biggest challenge faced by the associations was deciding how to promote the Chinese New Year culture to students.

Zhang said that there are so many traditions that take place during Lunar New Year that the organizations could only focus on a few.

“[There are] fireworks, making Chinese food and watching the biggest TV show of the year, the CCTV New Year’s Gala,” she said. “For this event, we focused on the other traditions that can be comparatively easier to present.”

Haiyi Lin, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, celebrated the new year with her family and wanted to bring that to UM.

“It is a time for family reunions. We always have wonderful and huge dinner with all family members,” Lin said.

Lin added that her family receives red packet money as presents from family members instead of presents.

Red packet money is money in placed in a red envelope and given as a gift to unmarried members of the family. The red wrapping is symbolic and is believed to bring happiness and blessing to the receivers. But Lin says it is impolite to open a red packet in front of the person who gives it to you.

“Red packet money means fortune and best wishes,” she said.

The host organizations will have a tent for students wishing to learn more about them and how to get involved with on-campus events like this one.