Every year, UVU has one of the most beautiful and traditional festivals that represents the welcoming of the Chinese New Year and the beginning of a new life for the Asian community. UVU International Student Council and UVU Chinese club brought the Chinese New Year celebration to the Grande Ballroom Friday, Feb. 16.
The Chinese New Year 2018, also known as the Spring Festival, has a 4,000-year-old history where families welcome the spring station and farmers get ready for the cultivation of the land. It starts at the beginning of February and it is governed by the traditional lunar calendar, which was created by Chinese emperor Chi Huan around 2,000 years before Christ; he named an animal to represent each year. This new year is represented as the Dog.
The festival featured different kinds of activities, games and professional performances like the Lion dance, Taiji Sword, Tai-Chi Fan dancing, singers and others. Adults and children of different nationalities who express their love for the Chinese culture came to UVU to enjoy the show. Wasatch Elementary School, Skyridge High School and Orem High School performed in several talent shows. The most impressive part of the show was the Lion dance by Jacob Fitisemanu. The purpose of the dance is to bring honor, good look and fortune to the special guests that night.
“I am so happy; I feel this year is going to be different with good fortune, and I wish to everyone happiness in their life for this Chinese New Year 2018,” sophomore business management major Hue Chang Li said.
This event celebrated four cultural days: The Dragon Boat Festival, where teams drove colorful dragon boats forward to the rhythm of a beating drum; Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a harvest festival celebrated by traditional Chinese families and is similar to Thanksgiving; Chinese New Year, where friends and families gather to celebrate good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity; and Chinese Valentine’s Day, which is known as Qixi festival, is celebrated by young couples exchanging presents, chocolate and flowers.
“Chinese New Year is really important for everyone. It is really special for me. It is supposed to be celebrated with my family, but they are far away, and since I am an international student here, I can not be with them because I have classes. Now I have a new family here. They are the Chinese students here. UVU is my second home, that is why I want to celebrate this new year with them, spread my culture to everyone, and make sure people can enjoy [it],” Yundong Zhang, vice president of ISC, president of Chinese Club and pre-nursing major, said.