Although it may seem that ringing in the New Year and the feeling of starting anew is over us, it has just begun for the Asian community at Bellevue College and worldwide. Lunar New Year is not much different from American New Year, as it is the celebration of the starting of several new calendars and the beginning of the year. Lunar New Year is sometimes also known as Chinese New Year, Tibetan New Year, Vietnamese New Year and many others. LNY is celebrated and is a public holiday in countries such as China, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia.
It is plain to see that BC is chock full of diversity and as a result of this we are lucky enough to have programs such as the International Student Association and Japanese Support Team that sponsor events that showcase holidays and traditions like the Lunar New Year. Aside from LNY, the ISA also hosts a Halloween Dance and International night, which happened to win last year’s Event of the Year.
When it comes to Lunar New Year, Kristianto, the president of the International Student Association, commented, “What I like best about the Chinese New Year celebration is the gift giving. Parents give their kids ‘ang pao,’ a small red package containing money.” He continued with, “However, once you get married, instead of getting an ang pao, you’re supposed to be the giver of the ang pao.”
The Lunar New Year celebration here at BC will be nothing short of entertaining and will definitely be something worth checking out. The ISA will be playing music that is traditionally played during the LNY festival and will be providing Chinese and other Asian snacks. Along with this, they will be selling Chinese, Vietnamese and any other merchandise associated with Lunar New Year. As if this wasn’t already enough, they will also be hosting an origami workshop where students can try their hand at the art of origami. The ISA will also be introducing a traditional Korean game that will be revealed during the event. Jeffrey Nguyen, a BC freshman, will also be participating in the events of the Lunar New Year hosted here at BC, although he is not a member of ISA or JST. Outside of the events here at school, he declared that the events at home are just as extravagant. “We usually gather at someone’s house; the adults cook and catch up while the little kids play. Also, we light incense and leave food outside or at the front door so the Buddha and folk can come appreciate the food we made before we eat it,” he stated.
Whether students are a part of the Asian community or not, if anyone is interested in participating in the Lunar New Year events, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate. On Feb. 9, in Seattle, the Lunar New Year Celebration will be held from 11 a.m.-4p.m in Seattle. Also, there will be a LNY Celebration held at Bellevue Square on Feb. 23rd from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. the BC LNY celebration will be held on Feb. 11 and 12 from 12 – 2 p.m. in the cafeteria.