The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE welcomes Year of Dragon with campus festival

Students attending the Chinese New Year celebration on SE Jan. 23 viewed demonstrations on origami and learned to make their own. Other festivities included food tasting and wheel games.
Justin Gladney/The Collegian
Students attending the Chinese New Year celebration on SE Jan. 23 viewed demonstrations on origami and learned to make their own. Other festivities included food tasting and wheel games. Justin Gladney/The Collegian

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

SE Campus welcomed the year of the dragon with a Lunar New Year celebration Jan. 23 with food, games and an origami demonstration.

Also known as Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year begins with the new moon on the first day of the new year, lasts 15 days and ends on a full moon.

Students attending the Chinese New Year celebration on SE Jan. 23 viewed demonstrations on origami and learned to make their own. Other festivities included food tasting and wheel games.
Justin Gladney/The Collegian

“It is lucky,” SE student Quynh Tran said of the New Year.

Tran said her family celebrated with a party the night before where her grandparents and aunt and uncle gave her envelopes filled with money. She received about a hundred dollars, she said.

SE student activities gave red envelopes filled with candy as prizes during the event. Participants could also sample foods from different cultures such as egg rolls, dumplings, fortune cookies and green tea.

SE instructional associate Vivian Lu demonstrated the art of origami during the event. Lu, who is from China, displayed origami animals she had made based on the Chinese zodiac as well as others. A frog, monkey and a tiny origami ant were among the herd. Those attending the event could also learn to create their own.

On Day 15 in southern China, people fill lanterns with poems, puzzles and literary type items, Lu said. Northern China will display ice sculptures during the festival, she said.

“The lantern festival is very important,” she said.

During the SE event, students played a wheel game where they could spin and try to match their zodiac symbol to win a prize. Student activities employee Cherrise Streaty, whose zodiac symbol is the dragon, said she had been lucky during the game.

If a player’s zodiac is the dragon and the wheel landed on the dragon, everyone won a prize. Streaty won on the fringes of another spinner.

Lu said the dragon symbolizes power, wisdom, good fortune and perspective, and the Chinese believe they descended from the dragon.

“There is a 12 [year] animal cycle,” she said, ”but the dragon is the only one that is not a real animal. It is very symbolic.”

SE student Jason Cantu said he enjoyed watching the origami demonstration.

“It was interesting to see some of how she did it,” he said.

Cantu said he thinks people in the area should attend cultural events to expand their horizons and learn more about culture through interaction.

“TV and books are a nice way to learn about the culture,” he said. “It can also be inaccurate.”

Cantu said information is sometimes written by authors who have not been immersed in the culture, and at events like the Lunar Year celebration, people can actually talk to someone who has practiced the culture year after year.

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