Lunar Dinner celebrates Chinese New Year


The University celebrated the Lunar New Year in Marillac Terrace to commemorate the Year of the Horse last Friday.

The Chinese Cultural Association and Multicultural Affairs honored the Lunar New Year by putting together a dinner composed of several Asian dishes and traditional dances.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year typically consists of fireworks and dragon dances, the focus of the holiday is family. The Chinese New Year is celebrated in China with gatherings where families watch the CCTV New Year’s Gala, a popular television show with various skits and performances. At some point in the night, they exchange gifts.

Similar to how Chinese culture celebrates the festivities, a community atmosphere filled Marillac Cafeteria.

The event began with an opening prayer blessing everyone at the dinner.

Following the prayer, Chinese style containers filled with fortune cookies and dinner mints were used by students to wish a Happy New Year to those sitting at their table.

The decorations covering the tables and walls brought a new meaning to the importance of the New Year to Chinese students.

“Great experience to celebrating the New Year as being a Chinese student,” Jenny Wang said. “St. John’s has fully understood the culture, especially with the delicious food served.”

Dinner included food such as chicken dumplings, chicken with broccoli, vegetable lo mein, rice, vegetable fried rice. The dessert menu included ice cream, mini cupcakes, Italian cookies and bubble tea.

During the dinner, there were many performances depicting the Chinese culture for students and faculty members, most notably the dragon and ribbon dance.

The dragon dance was performed with radiant, energetic dancers circling the cafeteria in the traditional style of the Chinese culture. With the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the theme of community and living in unison was the focus of the night.

Celebrating the Lunar New Year was a unique learning experience for students who aren’t Asian.

“I’ve never celebrated another New Year’s,” senior Annmarie Russo said. “I loved the Lunar New Year because of the strong importance of family and tradition.”