Lion dancers, drummers, and kung fu performers joined Wake Forest students and the community to celebrate the “Year of the Snake” at The Chinese New Year Festival on Feb. 16.
This annual event, hosted by the Wake Forest Asian Student Interest Association (ASIA) with support from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Chinese Student Scholar Association, featured performances and activities to highlight Chinese culture.
Students from the Chinese School of Winston-Salem (K-6 graders) gave a special presentation. Dressed in traditional red, blue and purple, they presented a talent show including poetry and musical acts.
Festival goers sampled authentic Chinese dishes such as dumplings, rice cakes and fried red bean cakes. Red envelopes filled with chocolate gold coins were given out as part of the celebration. These represent the Chinese tradition of presenting money to friends and family during the holiday. The red color is thought to bring good luck.
“We love opportunities to share our cultural practices not only with the Asian student community at Wake Forest but also with the rest of the students and the community,” said senior Ting Jiang, president of ASIA. “We want guests who are unfamiliar with our culture to experience it while learning the meaning and the significance of the holiday.”
The Chinese New Year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. This 15 day festival begins on the first day of the lunar calendar and marks the beginning of spring. The holiday has been observed for centuries and is celebrated worldwide.
“My favorite part of the event is seeing that the guests love the delicious food and the exquisite performances we have prepared for them,” Jiang said. “Nothing is better than knowing that our guests will go home and share their experiences with their loved ones.”