Dragons, Yo-Yos, swords and massive drums took over the Granite State Room at the MUB on Saturday night for the seventh annual Lunar New Year Celebration. The event was a collaboration put on by the United Asian Culture Coalition, the Korean Culture Club and the Vietnamese Student Association.
Tickets were free for students, and everyone who got a ticket was entered into a raffle and given three chances to win prizes throughout the evening. The prizes included pillow pets, hand crafted figures and a rice painting.
The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) awarded the Campus Collaboration award to the United Asian Coalition for the event last year.
“That was really exciting, that was one of our huge motivations while preparing for this year’s event,” said Rachel Kim, president of the Korean Club about last years award.
“What’s unique about this year are the performers,” said Kim about the Chinese Folk Art Workshop (CFAW) out of Boston, the team hired to perform at the event.
The CFAW put on a powerful performance comprised of seven unique pieces. As the show began with a dramatic drum rhythm, two large lions emerged from the audience and made their way onto the stage. The large lion costumes fit over two men who brought the beasts to life. The lions snapped, growled and attacked in unison. The performances of the night ranged from all male to all female dance performances. The female performers often had props like umbrellas and fans. The male performers wielded swords and staffs as they fiercely danced across the stage.
The fashion of the performers represented the traditional fashion of the region.
One of the standout performances was the Yo-Yo piece. These were not American style Yo-Yos. An object that looked like two rounded cones touching at their tips was slung across a line of string that each of the male performers held. The rounded cone objects were held on by nothing more than the swinging of the string. This was made obvious when several of the Yo-Yos went flying into the audience. Luckily, no one was hurt but it made the performance that much more intense.
“We really hope that we are able to promote Asian culture through the Lunar New Year celebration, ” said Kim adding “There is a huge international population coming to UNH, so we obviously want them to feel comfortable here.”
Halfway through the night’s performances there was an intermission and a feast was served buffet style. The feast consisted of traditional food from the various regions of China.
“We have more food and more variety of food,” said Thanh Dinh president of the Vietnamese Student Association adding, “We tried to give [the attendees] a bigger portion this year.”
“It was pretty, it was really pretty” said Qizhen Xie a history and classics major about his favorite performance, the dragon. Xie explains that the dragon chasing the ball represents hard work.
The night ended with a beautiful dance that included male and female performers all wearing white.
After the last performance, a type of painting made out of rice was raffled off and Evin O’Shea, a sophomore physics major, was the lucky winner.
“It was really flashy, the music was really high energy,” said O’Shea about the night.