Celebrating the Lunar New Year
COVID-19 prevents many of the customary celebrations, but that isn’t stopping some students from having small, safe gatherings.
2021 is the Year of the Ox, which symbolizes positivity, strength, and diligence in the face of challenges.
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Lunar New Year is an annual celebration in the start of another year according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This holiday, also called the Spring festival, is also celebrated in Vietnam and Korea. Common celebratory traditions include cooking a large meal with family, deep-cleaning your house and participating in local public festivities. Many students at Furman are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year on Feb. 12 this year, welcoming the Year of the Ox.
In past years, student organizations like Furman University Chinese Student Association (FUCSA) have hosted events for the Lunar New Year, such as movie CLPs and celebrations in the Watkins Room in Trone. Cafe Bon Appetit has also served holiday-related food in the Dining Hall on Lunar New Year in the past. However, COVID-19 prevents many of the customary club-facilitated celebrations. But that is not stopping some students from having small, safe gatherings together.
Eva Kiser ‘23 still plans on celebrating Lunar New Year this year on campus. If you pass by her door this week, you’ll see the bright red decorations that she has put up to welcome the new year. Kiser and a friend have arranged a small gathering where they will be making traditional Chinese hotpot and other dishes associated with the holiday. “Usually it’s a much bigger group of us, celebrating together like a big family. But this year, it’s much more condensed,” Kiser said, explaining the impact of COVID-19 on the holiday. “Even though this year’s celebration has to be modified, it just strengthens the value of being with the people you care about.”
According to Chinahighlights.com, 2021 being the Year of the Ox is extremely important after the hardships of 2020. Within the Chinese zodiac, oxen symbolize positivity, strength and diligence in the face of challenges. Furman students, such as Kaiser and her friends, have exhibited this resilience in adapting their way of celebrating despite the challenges. COVID-19 has interrupted important celebrations of many cultures. But the joyfulness of the Lunar New Year reminds us that we can and will persevere.