Members of the UH community gathered to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Thursday in the M.D. Anderson Rockwell Pavilion.
“Xin nian kuai le (happy New Year),” Xiaohong Sharon Wen, director of the UH’s Chinese Study Program, said to all present.
This year marks the Year of the Rabbit.
The Chinese New Year is regarded as the most important event among the Chinese community, Marshall MacArthur, instructional assistant professor of Chinese, said.
“The Chinese New Year symbolizes the Spring Festival — and we planned it carefully this year, so it would snow,” MacArthur said.
The temperature in Houston is dropping, but according to Sarah Fisherman, the associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the success of the Chinese Studies Program is doing the opposite.
“The Chinese Studies Program went from nothing and has grown a lot in a short time,” Fisherman said on behalf of CLASS dean John Roberts.
The New Year celebration was open to the UH community and was designed to not only celebrate the holiday, but also to share the traditional Chinese festival and culture, such as food, music and skits, with everyone in attendance.
In addition, UH’s Chinese Student Association and the Chinese Study Abroad program were available to offer information.
“All of our events are turning out very successfully,” CSA President Frank Thai, said. “So many students are participating and becoming very active,” Thai said.
The Chinese New Year is a very important day in the Chinese culture and has many different traditions, accounting senior Tse Kuang said.
“We celebrate with our family. People hardly have time to get together,” Kuang said. “It’s a time for fun.”
Kuang described one custom that has to do with the color red, which symbolizes happiness and good luck.
“We decorate the house in a lot of red décor, and hand out red envelopes with money in them,” Kuang said.
For information how to get involved in the Chinese Studies Program visit, www.class.uh.edu/mcl/chns/.