Time for a Lunar New Year


(left to right) Camden Lemond, Grant Peterson Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Photo by Matthew Claybrook

Before last year, Lunar New Year averaged around 300 people in attendance. Last year, over 600 people went. This year, the organizers expect even more.

The event will ring in the Year of the Pig with 12 acts and 80 performers showcasing cultural and contemporary song and dance performances from the Vietnamese Student Association, Chinese Cultural Club, Fillipino Student Association and Japanese Cultural Club. After the event, traditional food associated with the Lunar New Year will be served.

With expectations of attendance above 700 people, a mixture of Trinity students and the San Antonio community, Nguyen said that the club started planning the event last fall semester.

“Preparation has been geared towards recruiting participants and choreographers for the acts, creating a food menu, coordinating food logistics for more than 700, working with Laurie staff on technical details of the event and marketing the event,” said Sandra Nguyen, junior and vice president of Vietnamese Student Association (VSA).

Junior Alex Motter, president of the VSA, said the event cost in total about $5,000.

“The bulk of that [is] coming from our SGA funding request as well as a seed grant from the 150 committee.”

First-year student Spencer Sletten will participate by performing in the Japanese Umbrella dance, the K-pop Pentagon dance and the Chinese Gong Xi song. He noted that an important thing spectators should be aware of is the diversity of Asian regions being represented in the celebration.

“Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines all contribute elements to the performance, and spectators should be appreciative of practices other than their own heritage,” Sletten said.

Sletten also described the significance of bringing Lunar New Year to campus in a communal way.

“Despite the origin of Lunar New Year, people of all sorts are taking part in its execution. I was impressed by how the creators of the event opened up participation to everyone. It might be corny, but the point of the event is to have fun and eat good food and celebrate the Year of the Pig,” Sletten said.

Nguyen explained that the objective of the celebration is to introduce the traditions associated with the Lunar New Year to Trinity students and showcase the culture of China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.

She also noted that one of the purposes of the event is for Asian students who are celebrating the holiday away from their families. For Nguyen and many others, Lunar New Year and its festivities have rooted familial traditions that make it difficult to be away.

“I grew up celebrating it with my family, and to many families, Lunar New Year is equally as important as Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Ngyuen said. “I really miss celebrating it with my family. I know that there are a lot of students who also don’t get to celebrate with their families, so this show is also dedicated to them.”

Motter agreed with Nguyen’s sentiment.

“As someone who is Vietnamese, Lunar New Year is our most important holiday and one that has a very special place in my heart. Because I am at school and away from both my family and predominantly Viet community at home, celebrating the holiday is something I miss greatly,” Motter said.

Lunar New Year will take place in Laurie Auditorium on Friday Feb. 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.