All invited to campus New Year festivities

BY Annmarie Nagy



The university will be hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 20, the day after the new year begins. Open to all students, it will be held at 6 p.m. in the ballroom.

Jing Yang, who is from Fujian Province in China, is at UDM to obtain a graduate degree in financial economics.

“This year I plan to take part in the celebration at UDM with my other friends to celebrate the Spring Festival,” she said.

Yang shared details about traditional Chinese customs that take place during this time.

 “In China many people will begin preparing for the New Year in advance,” she said. “My mother will search for dishes and ingredients on the Internet months before the celebration in preparation for the 10 dishes served.”

Different regions celebrate with different foods.

“In northern China they will have dumplings with coins in them for good luck and to wish more money for the next year,” Yang said. “In the south people normally eat fish and rice. Steamed crab and shrimp, Chinese chives and vegetables with stir-fried pork are common dishes. For dessert mashed taro, soup with vegetables and glutinous red beans are served.”

In addition to the food, there are a few traditions that can take place on New Year’s Eve.

“Red is a popular color during the New Year,” she said. “It symbolizes good luck and joy. Children will receive one red bag filled with money from each family.”

Some grandparents give 1,000 yen (roughly $100).

“Many wealthier families will give more to the children,” Yang said. “Every year there is a television show called the “Spring Festival Gala.” The show includes magic acts, funny scenes, performances and traditional and new songs. Many parents and grandparents watch the show but younger people claim the show is too old.”

In her hometown, due to its warm climate the village will grow peach blossoms that draw visitors.

“The New Year is when families get together to celebrate,” she said. “Many people will not travel abroad during this time. People also love to send blessings to friends and families through WeChat and QQ,” popular instant-messaging vehicles in China.”

Those interested in learning more about Chinese culture and other international cultures present at the UDM are invited to join the Conversation Partners Program.

The program seeks to “build cultural bridges and friendships between domestic and international students.”

In the program participants are paired with a non-native English speaker.

As partners, they explore each other’s cultures while enhancing the non-native English speaker’s listening and speaking skills.

For more information or to apply contact Lara Wasner at