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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Lunch allows students to celebrate Lunar New Year

    The Asian Pacific American Student Affairs center helped students usher in the Year of the Rat yesterday afternoon with a Lunar New Year lunch celebration.

    The Year of the Rat, which lasts from Feb. 7 to January 25, 2009, is associated positively with aggression, attraction, order, charm and wealth, and negatively with death, gossip, war and catastrophic events.

    The Lunar New Year is often incorrectly referred to as the Chinese New Year because of the large number of Chinese who celebrate the holiday. In actuality, the Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar, said Edric Wong, a pre-pharmacy sophomore.

    “”Really, it’s a celebration held by many Asian countries,”” Wong said. “”China, Korea and Vietnam are the big countries that participate that most people recognize right away.””

    Students gathered in the APASA room in the Robert L. Nugent building to celebrate with food and a video.

    “”Well, it’s such a family-oriented event normally associated with eating, so we had to have food,”” said Arvin Parco, a computer engineering senior. “”I also put together a video where I interviewed people of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean decent and asked them what it mean to them, the importance of celebrating it and how celebrating here was different.””

    The video was showed in hopes of showing students that many nationalities celebrate the Lunar New Year in different ways.

    The holiday is often a time for new beginnings and a clean slate, much like the new year celebrated Jan. 1 for most of the world, Parco said.

    “”Really, it is similar to the traditional American New Year,”” Wong said. “”It brings good fortune and a hopefully a year of good health and wealth.””

    The Lunar New Year is often a time of family gatherings for those who celebrate it. For many college students partaking in the holiday, however, their families are not close enough to celebrate. This is part of the reason APASA put on the event.

    Mei Yu, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, normally celebrates the holiday with her family in Phoenix, but distance did not allow that this year.

    “”We usually have a family dinner,”” Yu said. “”So (yesterday) I called my family, but then I came here to the Lunar celebration to eat and watch movies and hang out.””

    Like most holidays, the Lunar New Year is also a time for possible gift exchanges and monetary gain.

    “”For me, during this time of the year I usually get money from my parents and stuff, which is the best,”” Yu said.

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