ODU Event: APASU's Lunar New Year Celebration

ODU’s campus is known for our diversity and we take pride in celebrating traditions from different cultures. Annually, the Asian Pacific-American Student Union (APASU), which spreads awareness of the Asian community as a whole, hosted the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25th in the North Cafe at the Webb. The event consisted of performances from the Filipino-American Student Association (FASA), Jow Ga Kung Fu, and a Polynesian performance from Halau Kahealani. Other activities included calligraphy, origami, and more!

The Lunar New Year is a 15-day holiday that celebrates the New Year, the Chinese zodiac and embodying the Chinese culture. However, many Asian countries celebrate this important holiday such as Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, South Korea and more. The celebration usually consists of family and close friends gatherings on the first few days. Family and friends would exchange money through a red envelope, which red is a symbol of good fortune. The women would cook and converse about life and the men would talk to other family members as well. Finally, on the 15th day, the Lantern Festival is held, marking the final day of the Lunar New Year.

The Chinese zodiac signs represent the alignment with the moon and follows a 12-year cycle. This year is the Year of the Dog. As stated in Travel China Guide, the dog’s personality is very loyal, sincere, and independent in contrast to animal’s personality. According to The Chinese Zodiac, people who are born under this zodiac should be careful in whatever they wish to do since it’s their year. The horoscope for the dog is mostly good luck, but problems can occur if the dog is not patient or tenacious.

Source: Giphy

APASU’s Lunar New Year event was set up by red tablecloths with red envelopes. The sounds of the event were filled with the APASU’s members and people who came to learn the traditional customs of the New Year. It was also followed by classic popular music from Vietnam and China.

First performance of the night by FASA

After the first performance by FASA, which was a traditional dance with a man and woman, food was catered by Panda Express. A long line of people with white tickets scurried to grab dinner which was served by the E-board members of APASU. The catering consisted of white/brown rice, chow mein, kung pow chicken, and more.

 

Princess, ODU senior and APASU’s development lead (left) and Paulynn, ODU sophomore and a part of APASU’s marketing crew (right).

Performances followed shortly after dinner by Jow Ga Kung Fu, which is a kung fu school in Virginia Beach. They performed a traditional dragon dance that lasts about 20 minutes. Later, raffle tickets were called on and the prizes were APASU’s merchandise, stuffed animals, and other goods. The night then ended with a final performance from Halau Kahealani. The dance originated from Hawaii and Tahiti, giving the audience customs of the Pacific.

Photo Courtesy of Kweku Asafu-Adjaye

Binh, ODU junior and APASU’s financial lead said, “It’s showing the diversity of cultures. It brings people to have fun and to celebrate!”