Lawrence hosts annual Lunar New Year celebration

House with two international flags out front and a sign

This year, International House will serve as a destination where on-campus students can pick up goody bags as part of the Lunar New Year celebration.

Photo by Sebastian Evans.

A virtual Lunar New Year celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 13, hosted by the Diversity and Intercultural Center, the International Student Services as well as several cultural student organizations. Additionally, the Chinese Students Association held a Lunar New Year Eve celebration with Assistant Professor of History Brigid Vance on Thursday, Feb. 11. 

The Lunar New Year is the first day of the Lunisolar calendar and is celebrated every year by many East Asian countries. In prior school years, the Lunar New Year celebration at Lawrence has occurred in the Warch Campus Center, taking up two floors of guest performances and displays from cultural organizations. However, this year, the celebrations are going to be online as a way for everyone to celebrate. 

The celebration for the Lunar New Year is going to be on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. This event is hosted by the Diversity and Intercultural Center, International Student Servies, the Chinese Student Association, Korean Culture Club, Lawrence International, Pan-Asian Organization and the Vietnamese Culture Organization. The event will be a live-streamed YouTube video featuring clips from each cultural organization. There will also be two performances. 

In addition to the YouTube live, there will be a limited number of goody bags distributed in each of the dorms, Warch and International House. Each goody bag has a small gift from each of the cultural organizations. The meaning behind each gift will be explained in the YouTube live.  

Junior Jamie Dong, the vice president of Lawrence International and event coordinator of the Chinese Student Association, said all students, alumni and friends are encouraged to watch the video and see what each organization put together.  

“Whoever wants to come, people who have already graduated, or current students, are welcome,” Dong said. “We want to bring everyone together.” 

Prior to the YouTube live event, the Chinese Student Association held their own Lunar New Year Eve celebration via Zoom on Feb. 11. Before the Zoom, students placed orders online for food, which the Chinese Student Association provided for pickup in the International House. After that, students could eat their food and join the Zoom to hear Vance talk about her experiences in China. Then, students played games like karaoke and celebrated.  

President of the Chinese Student Association, senior Sheldon Xie, said that the Lunar New Year is about family and people coming together, and all students are welcome to join to learn more about how the Lunar New Year is celebrated.  

“We know [that] in the past year it’s been hard because we can’t have in-person gatherings … but we miss those good times and want to bring the whole Lawrence community together,” Xie said.