California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Chinese New Year Celebration Expecting Luck and Peace for 2015

    California Lutheran University’s Soiland Recreation Center will play host to the annual Chinese New Year celebration taking place Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

    This event celebrates the culture and history of China during their most special holiday which begins one week later on Feb. 19.  The festival lasts 15 days, according to a press release from Debby Chang.

    Chang, one of the coordinators for this event, has been a part of this celebration at Cal Lutheran for the better part of 10 years.  She says this event will showcase the best of Chinese culture, from food and artisans to a fashion show of traditional Chinese clothing.

    “We’ll serve Chinese food, we’ll have performances like lion dance, Chinese traditional dance, Chinese traditional music and a fashion show from our CLU students.  We also have Tai Chi and Kung Fu demonstrations,” Chang said in a phone interview.

    Chang says there are more than 100  performers from Cal Lutheran and the surrounding community participating in this event.  Alongside those performers are artists, both professional and amateur, who will demonstrate origami and calligraphy amongst other traditional art forms. Vendors will also sell artwork and handcrafted items.

    Sarah Peterson, the student coordinator for the event, is assisting Chang in preparation for the festivities to commence.  Peterson says the celebration will start with the dragon dance, one of her favorite parts of the entire festival.

    “I really love the Chinese dances.  They’re really fun.  They always do the traditional dragon dances at the beginning with the puppets, so that’s always a fun way to start it off,” Peterson said.

    Performances of traditional Chinese music by the Thousand Oaks Chinese Folk Ensemble, Yang Sheng Choir, In-Harmony Choir, as well as a few soloists are to be expected.

    “We have some pajama-like Chinese clothing with silk, and then we have some that are a little bit more formal as well,” student coordinator for the fashion show, Sarah Ha said.

    Ha said in a phone interview her objective for this is to give “a cultural perspective on fashion,” regardless of what part of the world everyone comes from.

    The history of Chinese New Year began with a battle between villagers and a beast called the Nian, according to legend.  The villagers made food for the creature in order to satisfy it and bring protection to themselves.  The legend goes on to say the Nian found the color red terrifying, so the people hung red lanterns and red spring scrolls to scare the beast away.

    Today red lanterns are hung to symbolize the brightness of springtime and red envelopes, typically filled with money, symbolize wealth and prosperity for the coming year.  Red envelopes will be available at the event to bring luck to the attendees, according to a press release from Chang.

    Each year is also associated with an animal, alternating every year between 12 animals.  This being the Year of the Ram, Chang predicts 2015 to be easygoing.

    “It will be, hopefully, a very gentle and peaceful year because of the characteristic of the sheep,” Chang said.

    The most recent Year of the Ram was 2003.

    Students and members of the community alike will be able to attend this event for free.  Along with this showcase of Chinese culture, the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art and the Kwan Fong Gallery will have coinciding exhibits named “Chinese Figurative Realism in the 21st Century” and “A Chinese New Year Residency at the Kwan Fong Gallery.”

    “It  includes  Chinese  calligraphy, brush painting and old-time media painting,” Chang said.

    Ha estimates 300 to 500 people will be attending the event and advises those who wish to partake in the festivities to arrive early.


    Katrina Petty
    Staff Writer
    Published February 4th, 2015