On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Center hosted their 20th Annual Lunar New Year celebration. It is their first time hosting it in person since COVID-19. The celebration took place in Ursa Major in the Bronco Student Center for all students to join in and learn about the holiday.
The celebration included a raffle, a traditional Japanese drum performance, a Filipino dance performance and multiple information booths from other cultural centers.
As guests arrived at the event, they were handed red envelopes with a golden rabbit on the front. The envelope was filled with a meal ticket, a raffle ticket and a scratch fortune card.
There were many booths at the event for students that offered things like cat and rabbit stickers, jewelry making, paper heart making, Lunar New Year coloring pages, polaroid photos and a wishing tree.
Under the wishing tree, students were given the opportunity to write their wish onto a piece of paper and tie it to the tree in hopes of it coming true.
The event started at 11:30 a.m., before entering students were able to use their meal tickets to get a plate of traditional Chinese food. Rice, chow-mein noodles, orange chicken, broccoli beef and more were served along with various drinks to choose from including a mojito lemonade.
Students waiting in line to enter the event were met with the sound of the Cal Poly Pomona Touzan Taiko, a Japanese drumming group, playing the drums loudly so as to ward off any bad luck.
While talking about how other cultures may celebrate this holiday differently, biology student, Zachery Angeles expressed that many traditions revolve around superstitions.
“I celebrate Lunar New Year, not to the extent as some other cultures might, we (in Filipino culture) celebrate the animal of the year, we celebrate a lot of luck and superstition associated with the Chinese Zodiac and Lunar calendar,” said Angeles.
APISC has had partners in the past to celebrate the new year, but this year they wanted it to be a celebration of the event and the communities within the Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi-American diaspora.
“For the first time in a long time, our APIDA organizations have gathered and are also performing on stage in individual performances,” said Lylannie Ducut, APISC student retention coordinator.
Lily Liang, who is one of the social justice leaders for APISC, mentioned how traditionally during the Lunar New Year celebration folks will honor their ancestors.
“Our honoring table is going to be focused on Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay victims of the past two weeks, and there we’ll be honoring those names, and celebrating them, taking a moment of silence,” said Ducut.
Throughout the celebration, students were able to come together and express themselves through creativity and togetherness. Psychology student, Pauline Rocha, attended the event in hopes of learning more about different cultures.
“I really like how they involve other clubs from around the school, I think that’s a good way to really immerse the culture and show each other that support,” said Rocha.
Students can expect more events like this one hosted by the APISC for students of all backgrounds who wish to be immersed in new experiences.