Gettysburg celebrates Lunar New Year
By Nora Tidey, Staff Writer
Monday, Feb. 8 marked the official start of the Lunar New Year, and Gettysburg College celebrated with food, festivities and fun on Saturday, Feb. 6. The Ballroom was nearly filled as the campus community came out to celebrate a holiday not typically recognized in America. Celebrated in several Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, the Lunar New Year signifies the first day of the lunisolar calendar, which follows the moon cycle as opposed to American calendars, which follow the sun cycle.
The students and staff of the Asian Studies Department and the Chinese Club organized a campus-wide celebration that included a lot of food, music and student performers. From musical duets to belly dancing to traditional games, the Lunar New Year celebration brought a wide variety of entertainment. Sophomore Ha Nguyen, who worked on and performed at the event, explained that the students involved in the event decided on the traditional foods that would be served, some of which are very complicated to make and involve daylong preparation processes. She also explained that in Vietnam, one of the most important traditions is dinner the night before the New Year begins when families gather to share the last meal of the year together, and that many aspects of the Lunar New Year are similar to the celebrations of the New Year in countries that follow the solar calendar. Ha added that while it can be difficult to be away from home during the Lunar New Year celebration, the students who worked on the event all had a lot of fun together and considered the event a great success.
The event allowed the campus community to experience and appreciate both the similarities and the differences among cultural celebrations, all while relaxing and having fun.