The aroma of Chinese food filled the room as lanterns and lights hung from the ceiling and bright red colors accented the tables — all symbols of good luck for the Chinese New Year.
The Decker Social Space was transformed into a vibrant and exciting atmosphere when the Chinese Student Association gathered on Thursday, Feb. 23, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year marks the year of the rooster.
Students, faculty and friends alike filled the space to enjoy a night of delicious food, performances and Chinese culture. The event, the biggest held by CSA each year, was rescheduled after the College had previously canceled all events during a snow day.
Hubert Hsu, president of CSA and a junior nursing major, said he was happy with the turnout and the College community’s participation despite having to reschedule.
“I am just glad everyone is happy and getting food,” he said.
Hsu was overjoyed that several faculty members volunteered their time to decorate for the event and that some performers even had their families in the audience.
In years past, the celebration has had roughly 250 people in attendance. This year was not a disappointment, as the line for food wrapped halfway around the room. Attendees waited for their number to be called so they, too, could line up for the buffet.
The night kicked off with an exciting martial arts performance by Julie Huang, a freshman computer science major. She captured everyone’s attention with her display and the accompanying music got the crowd excited for the night’s festivities.
Katie Shum, a freshman computer science major, followed with a vocal exhibition, singing “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur.
Other performances included traditional lion and dragon dances, a dancing exhibition from junior computer science major Oliver Lee, senior accounting major Ricky Zhao and junior biology major Zach Lo along with the CSA DragonFlies.
The night’s hosts shared several stories of Chinese New Year traditions with the audience. Among them was the importance of entering the new year with a clean home in order to rid yourself of last year’s bad luck.
When asked what she enjoyed most that night, junior sociology major Yani Hidrich said, “The food. I grabbed everything!”
The hungry crowd was greeted with a buffet with dozens of different types of traditional cuisine.
The event not only offered complimentary Chinese food to all attendees, but also featured a raffle, a costume photo booth and a traditional Wishing Tree: a Chinese New Year tradition in which people toss red ribbons onto the tree in hopes of good fortune for the coming year.
Many students saw the night as a way to immerse themselves in Chinese culture.
“It was a chance to embrace my Chinese roots,” said Jeff Micaias, a freshman art education major.
Whether students attended for the food, the stellar performances or the vibrant sense of community, nearly every one left learning something they didn’t know before.
Michael Chen, publicist of CSA and a junior interactive multimedia major, hoped everyone enjoyed the experience.
“We just wanted to see everyone happy about the food and performances, and enjoying themselves,” he said.