Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chinese New Year at PLU

The Chinese House in Hong cooperated with the Chinese Department and the Pacific Islander Club to put together a Chinese New Years celebration in the Cave. People from all over campus came to enjoy traditional Chinese food prepared for us by our fullbright scholar Tiantian, watch a lion dance performed by the Pacific Islander Club, make paper lanterns and dragons, play traditional Chinese instruments provided by Professor Gregory Yutz and celebrate the Year of the Horse!

The Lion and Buddha pose for photos!
The lion dance was very exciting and people were laughing and clapping. The Chinese Lion Dance is performed accompanied by the music of beating of drums, cymbals, and gongs. Instruments synchronise to the lion dance movements and actions. It is believed that the loud beats of the drums and deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face and aggressive dancing of the lion can evict bad or evil spirits. It is also believed to bring food luck and fortune to the business.

Lion head close-up!

In my Arts of China class last J-term with Professor Youtz, we put on lion dances in class and I was chosen to be Buddha! My job was basically to play, tame and direct the lion's movements. We had about 4 lions and me running around having a great time!
Professor Youtz teaching an interested student how to play a traditional Chinese instrument!

Students were invited to make paper bag dragons and paper lantern they could decorate! It was so much fun to see how creative they were!
Craft table!
My paper dragon "Mushu"!

Guests received red envelopes with "money" (chocolate) in them. Usually the red envelopes are given by adults and elderly to young children during New Years. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep the children healthy, and long living.

My red envelope!
It was my first Chinese New Year celebration ever! I learned so much about Chinese culture and can't wait to learn more about this culture! I am hoping to study away in Asia at some point and this made me want to go even more! 


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