Click Here For Video of the CelebrationChinese students and friends are preparing for the Chinese New Year and starting it off with a celebration in the UMC.
Buffet tables lined the walls of the Glenn Miller Ballroom on Sunday, filled to the brim with Kung Pao chicken, fried rice, dainty pork dumplings and freshly brewed teas. Performers in extravagant costumes ran through aisles of attendees, who sat in conversation while eating Chinese cuisine.
The festival took place from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event had more than 800 people in attendance, including CU students, professors, local families and an abundance of volunteers.
One volunteer serving food was 28-year-old physics major Yu Ye, who said they started setting up at 11 a.m.
The event began with a video, which covered aspects of traditional Chinese culture such as calligraphy, martial arts, dance and music.
A crowd favorite was a performance of the Lion Dance by the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu group. Colorful lions with glowing eyes danced out a story for the audience to the beats of drums and symbols played by group members.
Other performances included martial arts that imitated animals, the Sensu Dance and dances of Taiwan.
CU student volunteers handed out elaborate animal masks to children attending the event. Each attendee also received tickets to a raffle held with prizes of Chinese cultural goodies such as necklaces and coin purses.
Peter Lee, a 28-year-old native of China who was volunteering for the event, said he has two particular hopes for the new year.
“To work hard and to get more money to support my family,” Lee said.
He said that in China, the celebration comes with fireworks and a lot of partying.
“The culture is very different,” Lee said. “In China they are more traditional, and people here, they are more modern.”
For Kuo Liu, a fourth-year graduate student in applied math, the new year meant out with the old and in with the new.
“For the Chinese, the new year means what is old is in the past,” Liu said. “We need to create new life.”
The majority in attendance were families with young children hoping to get a taste for Chinese culture and tradition. The event also provided a means for people of Chinese heritage to build a sense of community and to carry on the age-old tradition of celebrating the new year.
The event was free for all attendees and was produced by The Chinese Student and Scholars Association. Sponsors for the festival included the Cultural Events Board, Arts and Sciences Student Government, International Student and Scholar Services, Center for Multi-Cultural Affairs, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor.
Lin Chen, a resident of Denver, said he appreciates the festival as a way to connect with the Chinese-American community.
“It’s the most important festival for us because we are far away from our home” Chen said.
Zhenbi Su, a 2010 graduate with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, said he agreed with Chen.
“It’s like a Chinese reunion,” Su said. “We really enjoy the festival.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Nora Keating at Nora.email@example.com