Written by Levi Jublet, Media by Jack Wang
On February 20, GCSA invited the GC community to come out and celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival/New Year in the Upper Union. It was adorned with red decorations to bring in the Year of the Goat in accordance to typical Chinese tradition. GCSA also had multiple stations set up for the evening such as calligraphy, history lessons, a quiz, and a make your own dumpling station.
To begin the celebration, GCSA showed a short video detailing some of the background on the Chinese New Year. It told the story of a beast called Nian who came out of hiding and attacked a village. After being attacked, the villagers tried to come up with a way to make the Nian leave them alone. The Nian’s weaknesses were thought to be sensitivity to loud noises and being afraid of the color red. So, the villager’s made lots of noise, threw firecrackers, and wore red in hopes of scaring off the Nian. This must have worked because the Nian was never seen again. Therefore, the traditions of throwing firecrackers and wearing red during this time of the year came from this legend. After a brief history lesson, GCSA played another video that explained how to make dumplings, a common food eaten during this time, followed by a live demonstration of how to put a dumpling together once all the ingredients are prepared.
Once everyone had been briefed on the background of the New Year’s traditions and how to properly make a dumpling, the interactive portion of the evening began. First and foremost, it was time for all of us to go and make a dumpling ourselves. Tables were set up that had pre-prepared stuffing and dough circles on them with water and flour for everyone to use. Making dumplings may be a fairly simple process, but that does not mean that you can make them well. Instead of a neatly folded dumpling with just the right of amount of stuffing inside you are more likely to end up with big looking meat ball.
After attempting to make dumplings, the next big event of the evening was getting your name written in calligraphy. Albert Lee artistically drew each person’s name adding a bit of his own style into every brush stroke. This was the highlight of the evening due to how interesting it was to watch Albert write each name. Towards the end of the evening everyone was able to try their hand at writing themselves.
A couple prize giveaways were the final events of the New Year’s celebration. A simple luck of the draw contest was the first giveaway, but it didn’t go as planned. Everyone was given an envelope and was told not to open it until instructed to do so. Inside one of them was a sticker that identified the person as the winner. The problem was that no one had the sticker. Whoops. After a quick redistribution of envelopes a winner was finally found. A quiz was the other giveaway. It gave everyone a chance to learn while competing for a prize.
The Chinese Spring Festival/New Year event was a fantastically good time. The dumpling making station and the calligraphy writing were awesome and learning about the history of this celebration was interesting as well. If you happened to miss the party this year, be sure to mark it on your calendar next time for the Year of the Monkey party. In the meantime though, happy Year of the Goat everyone!