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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

ASA holds Lunar New Year celebration

Students+paint+mini+lanterns+as+part+of+the+Lunar+New+Year+festivities.
Students paint mini lanterns as part of the ASA’s Lunar New Year festivities. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

The Asian Student Association (ASA) celebrated Lunar New Year with the St. Joe’s community on Feb. 17 in the North Lounge. 

Lunar New Year is marked by the first full moon of the lunar calendar year, which happened on Feb. 1 this year. The Lunar New Year is primarily celebrated in China and other countries that have been influenced by Chinese culture, celebrating the Lunar New Year as a way to bring good fortune into the year. 

The holiday began as a time to honor the household, heavenly deities and ancestors. It is now also seen as a time to bring about good fortune for the upcoming year. Each year is represented by one of the twelve zodiac animals, this year being the tiger, a symbol of power and courage. 

“Lunar New Year is the combination of your typical Happy New Year with Christmas,” said Christine Nasife ’22, the cultural ambassador of ASA. “It’s a big thing, it means a lot to people to bring in good luck for the New Year.”

Nasife said the executive board decided to make the event a collaboration of previously executed traditional events such as origami making, bracelet making and lantern decorating.

“We just wanted to make it all come back together [in person], and having a huge event like this, then people don’t have to stick to one thing,” Nasife said.

Participants also decorated red envelopes during the celebration. Because the Lunar New Year is ultimately about spreading good fortune, one tradition is putting out red envelopes where family members and friends leave money inside, signifying their wish for good fortune in the year. 

“Just like the culture of giving gifts to someone, ours is giving red envelopes to each other,” Nasife said.

The executive board organized the event as a way for all students to experience different Asian cultural traditions and gain insight into the importance of Lunar New Year, according to Lucy Nguyen ’22, vice president of ASA.

“We want people to be exposed to more culture, like Asian culture,” Nguyen said. “It might be likely you heard [Lunar New Year] all the time, but you don’t know much about it. We want to give out that information.”

Gabriella Dudajek ’24, who attended the event, said she liked learning about the tradition of hanging lanterns from trees. 

“It was a really cool experience learning about another culture that I’m not very familiar with,” Dudajek said. “Being able to do the different activities and meet new people was very relaxing.”

Nasife said it’s important for students in the St. Joe’s community to experience different cultures and traditions through events like ASA’s Lunar New Year celebration.  

“Having that exposure to these new events and new ideas and new cultures, I think that’s very beneficial for diversity, equity and inclusion,” Nasife said. 

ASA’s next event will be “ASA x Hawks of India Holi” and will be held on March 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the North Lounge.

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Hannah Madeya
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