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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies celebrate Lunar New Year

Photo by File

Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Jan. 12 this year. 

As major U.S. holidays like Christmas and New Year’s pass, another recognized holiday celebrated by friends and family in several Asian countries is Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year typically falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, and this year it lands on Friday, Feb. 12. Campus organizations such as the Chinese Student Association, or CSA, and the Vietnamese Student Association, or VSA, are hosting virtual events on Saturday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 20 to spread awareness about the celebration and their respective cultures.
Chinese prehistory Lunar New Year stems from the legend of the Jade Emperor, President of A&M’s CSA James Wang said.
“The story goes that he’s celebrating his birthday, but he lives in the heavens,” Wang said. “[He] can’t really reach anyone on earth, so he sends out an invitation. As an incentive to the invitation to the party, he notes that the first 12 animals that arrive at his palace will have a place on the Chinese Zodiac.”
Co-Culture Chair of A&M’s VSA David Nguyen said the cultural differences between Chinese and Vietnamese Lunar New Years are the different zodiac animals, food and attire.
“For the Vietnamese, it is actually the Year of the Water Buffalo,” Nguyen said. “The water buffalo is actually the animal native to Vietnam and the national animal of Vietnam.”
As for upcoming events, CSA will be hosting a mix of meeting rooms on Zoom and on their CSA discord server, which will include activities and prizes on Feb. 13.
“We’ll be running a series of games, which we’ll allow participants to sign up for beforehand,” Wang said. “We’ll have raffle tickets for people who do play those games, and at the end, they’ll be able to pull raffle tickets to win actual prizes. Throughout the course of the game we’re planning on introducing elements of Chinese culture and Chinese American culture, specifically.”
The VSA will also be hosting a virtual event on Twitch on Feb. 20, which will include cultural dancing, cooking lessons, a lion dancing performance, raffles and prizes,VSA’s Vice President External Kevin Dang said.
President of VSA Phillip Pham said although the event could not be held in Rudder Plaza as it normally is, it is still important to VSA to fulfill the organization’s mission to spread cultural awareness.
“We wanted to [share Lunar New Year because] that’s an important part of our culture, for Vietnamese, Chinese and the Asian continent, too,” Pham said. “It’s a very important thing, and we wanted to make sure that we still did something to help celebrate that.”
When reflecting on their favorite aspect about the holiday, Vice President External for CSA Henry Tang said he appreciates coming together with his friends and family more now than when he used to value getting another treat.
“I personally feel the holiday for me was just about getting money because we’d get red envelopes and stuff that were filled with money,” Tang said. “Now that I’m at A&M with people who I feel grew up similarly, it’s a way for us to come together and celebrate our heritage.”
For more information on the Lunar New Year celebrations, visit the organizations’ Instagram pages, @tamu.csa and @tamuvsa.

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