The Chinese New Year celebration for the Year of the Snake was held in the library on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The second floor of the library was covered with traditional decorations and many tables run by various organizations with activities involving Chinese culture.
The event had a good turnout, especially when it started at 11 a.m.
At the entrance of the event, volunteers had a raffle table for attendees to add entries for free. The raffle included two baskets of various goods and two $25 gift cards to the KU Bookstore.
The library also set up a display of all of the Chinese culture items in their collection.
Aramark Dining Services provided refreshments for the event as well. Chinese cuisine including dumplings, chicken, vegetables, teas and much more were served buffet-style.
Further in the room, activity tables were set up.
Faculty members were involved at this event also. Professor Kevin McClosky of the Department of Communication Design offered woodblock painting and Drs. Ju Zhou and Yun Lu of the Department of Mathematics entertained students with a chopsticks game.
Dr. CJ Rhoads of the Department of Business Administration welcomed students, staff and faculty alike to join her demonstration of Tai Chi. Rhoads, dressed in white Tai Chi attire, performed basic movements while urging participants to mimic. Rhoads held these lessons because she believes that Tai Chi “is a fun and healthful activity.”
Rhoads is the co-advisor of the Tai Chi Club, along with Dr. Duane Crider of the Department of Sports Management. Tai Chi Club holds World Tai Chi Day, which will be on April 27 this year and they also hope to hold more events if they can get more members.
“It’s one of those things where if you get interested, you get really interested,” said Rhoads.
Erin Bower, a freshman social work major, attended due to her interest in Asian culture. She participated in Rhoads’ Tai Chi demonstration and became interested in the club.
Professor Haidong Liu of the Department of Modern Language Studies aided people with Chinese paper-cutting and watercolor painting. First, participants sketched a figure of a panda and painted it with watercolor paint. Then, Liu or student volunteers offered to paint a model of participants’ names in Chinese and encouraged them to paint as well.
The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSAKU) assisted Liu’s paper-cutting table. CSSAKU member Yue Li explained that paper-cutting and paper-folding has remained a strong Chinese tradition.
The CSSAKU held another table explaining the Chinese zodiac. Students taking Chinese courses assisted as well. Jake Zeroth, a Chinese IV student, volunteered to help at the table because of interest and time between classes. He said the zodiac “works the same as ours, but it’s more yearly.”
Attendees could also view a video of the Chinese New Year Gala in China, which many families gather to watch, according to Li.
“[Chinese New Year] could be called the number one festival in Chinese culture,” said Li. “For many families, it is a day to gather together.”
According to Li, the date of the holiday varies every year due to the lunar calendar. This year, the official holiday fell on Sunday, Feb. 10.
By Emily Leayman