The Chinese Student Scholar Association will host their annual China Night on Feb. 9 at the LaSells Stewart Center in celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year.
The CSSA will also be including the Lantern Festival for the first time in the history of China Night at OSU to the festivities. 2020’s Lantern Festival will take place on Feb. 8, commemorating the return of spring and the reunion of family.
Along with celebrating the new year, the club is also hoping to pay tribute to the Lantern Festival and the Spring Festival. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner, where traditional foods will be served.
“The key point [of the dinner] is tang yuan… people eat it with [their] family, celebrating the end of the festival” said Peifeng Zhang, the president of CSSA.
Tang yuan are a large staple of the usual meal served at a traditional dinner. They are small rice balls with a rice exterior and sweet syrup or fillings on the inside.
Zhang remembers Chinese Lunar New Year as a time when “people are sitting together, the whole family, eating a specific food, [and] the country is celebrating it together,” said Zhang. In her memory, playing with her brother and cousin when she was young and parents making traditional food together were things she loved about the celebration.
The dinner will continue on after 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., in which a set of performances will take place. The main parts of the celebration will be centered around the traditional dancing and vocal performances, according to Zhang. They are also taking applications for other students who would like to perform a special talent at the event.
The celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year has been celebrated throughout China for over 3,000 years and will be celebrated this year on Jan. 25. It is heavily based on the connections to families and is spent eating and celebrating with members of your family throughout the month.
“In America, we are foreigners, second-language speakers, so we come to a new country as a freshman and they are new here, they are not familiar and they are alone; so that’s why we’re doing [China Night]… to make them feel like they’re right at home; their family is here,” said Zhang.
“I help our leader to think about how to organize China Night… last year was my first year at OSU and I [went] to China Night and I loved to play the games and win the prizes,” said Ruixuan Vang, member of CSSA.
Despite the night being a way for Chinese students to feel at home during the holidays, CSSA wants to make it clear that China Night is not just an event for Chinese students at OSU.
“We want to introduce our culture to more American students and American people,” said Zhang. “I want people to know about our traditional dancing, clothing and food. Everything Americans know about China is about politics… so why can’t we influence their judgment to think about culture?”