ASiA hosts annual Lunar New Year festival


Printed with permission of Shauna Altieri

ASiA honored Lunar New Year by covering the Quad in red and festive decorations and offered a variety of activities and food for those who attended the festival. They gave rewards including stuffed animals and candy to people who participated in the event.

Alexander Dinh and Nathan Wang

Asian Students in Action (ASiA) hosted their annual Lunar New Year Festival on the Quad on Jan. 23. Lunar New Year is a commonly celebrated holiday in many Asian cultures and is the beginning of the Lunar calendar.

ASiA’s Lunar New Year festival featured Chinese, Hawaiian, Korean and Vietnamese food. The event also included Lunar New Year-themed games and cultural activities like calligraphy, origami, chopstick races with M&M’s, a partner spicy ramen challenge and a photo booth. For each activity, ASiA awarded participants a stuffed rabbit for the Chinese zodiac, a stuffed cat for the Vietnamese zodiac or a red envelope with candy.

ASiA Leader Glory Ho ’24 said Lunar New Year represents a new beginning in many Asian cultures and is a very cheerful holiday.

“Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday, at least in certain cultures, I think, so it just feels natural to celebrate it just as we celebrate the regular New Year,” Ho said. “The holiday is all about welcoming in new possibilities and starting the year with a clean slate, so it’s a very hopeful and joyous occasion.”

Dale Kim ’25 said it was rewarding to see everyone to see the community celebrate the holiday together.

“My favorite part of the event was watching everyone have fun together,” Kim said. “I think the best part about these events is that we are allowing everyone to get together with their friends, and just have a good time. I think that’s important, especially in a time where it’s pretty easy to find negativity.”

Sasha Lee ’24, who worked a shift at the chopsticks competition, said she was touched that so many members of the school community were excited to celebrate Lunar New Year.

“My favorite part of the event was seeing people of different backgrounds come together to support the Asian American Pacific Islander community,” Lee said. “Seeing my peers and teachers at the event made me proud to be a part of a community that works to educate themselves and celebrate my culture.”

Ho said ASiA said she hopes to sell more food for future Lunar New Year events.

“We haven’t been talking about it too much just yet, but I think we might focus on having more food and [fewer] activities [next] year,” Ho said. “Our food sold out in about 45 minutes, which was definitely unfortunate, as we would’ve liked everyone to be able to enjoy the event equally. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much we’d want to change, but we’d be open if people had any idea

ASiA Advisor and Science Department Head Melody Lee said celebrating Lunar New Year makes the school community feel like a second family to her.

“Lunar New Year is all about celebrating with your loved ones and family,” Lee said. “In a sense, the ASiA community is a family of its own, and it’s nice to see the entire school community come together to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in many Asian countries. While I cannot go back home and celebrate with my own family, it’s nice to share this experience with all the ASiA members and the larger community.”