“I wish my family members, my friends, and I could be happy in the year of the pig,” said Po Wei, a graduate student.
“I wish I can improve my English language, and learn other languages, like Japanese and Latin in the year of the hot dog,” said Ethan Li ’22.
“I wish I can marry with my girl- friend this year,” said Bob Wang, a graduate student.
In Lunar New Year, everyone has a wish. On Feb. 4, St. Michael’s held its first Spring Festival celebration at Cashman Hall to celebrate Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, this is the most important festival for Chinese people. All family members get together on New Year’s Eve to have a big meal. Most of the 18 Chinese students at St. Michael’s had a big dinner — hot pot — on the second floor at Cashman Hall. At the same time, Tony Liu, BK Neera, and other student leaders prepared for the first Spring Festival celebration in the first floor common room.
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is the year of the pig, which symbolizes happiness, wealth, gentleness, bravery, kindness, and honesty. “This year is my year of the fate because I was born in 1995,” Haobo Wang ’19. “We are supposed to buy some red stuff to counteract evil force in the year of the fate because the color red in Chi- na means luck and fortune.”
“We usually hold a small activity for Spring Festival at St. Michael’s. It could be a dinner meal, it could be a small party in our suite, and it could be just sitting in our rooms and making video calls with our families,” said Fengting Zheng ’19. “I was surprised when I heard the Spring Festival celebration held because it was the first Spring Festival celebration at St. Michael’s since I came here four years ago.”
“I am so happy that we celebrate the Chinese New Year with non-Chinese students together at St. Michael’s,” Zheng said.
Tony Liu ’20, a first floor RA of Cashman Hall, mentioned that the Chinese Spring Festival was influential in the world, and GEAR program should also pay attention to it. “As a Chinese RA, I’m glad that the first-time Spring Festival celebration was successful, and students who attend the celebration felt the atmosphere of it in 45 minutes,” Liu said. “We prepared the red packets and chopsticks game in the celebration. It was fun.”
Micayla O’Connor ’22, who is an American student, also celebrated Spring Festival at Cashman Hall. “I know pretty much nothing about Chinese New Year, [but] I heard about the celebration through a close friend and I was interested to learn more about the culture. It was so fun.”
Many Chinese students were excited celebrating the Spring Festival, but they were curious if there would be the Spring Festival celebration every year in the future.
“After discussion, GEAR agreed that we should pay attention to not only the Chinese Spring Festival, but also other special festivals from different countries,” Liu said.