Embracing new year cultural traditions


Sam Underwood

CSUB Art majors Vanessa Ramirez (left), Yi Sing (center), Lorena Cazeras (right), learning calligraphy at the Lunar New Year festival on Jan. 30 at the Student Union.

Francisco Ruiz, Reporter

   As the new year and new semester begins at the CSU Bakersfield, campus Chinese Dragons came to celebrate the 2020 Lunar New Year Celebration by running and dancing around in the Student Union building. The room was filled with Chinese Decorations and it was filled with guests all around the community including CSUB staff and students. The guests were ready to enjoy the event. The celebration started with a New Year Celebration Song held by the children center from the CSUB Campus, followed by the Lion Dance, a Tai Chi Fan Dance Demonstration, and a Martial Dance Demonstration. 

 “This is an event CSU Bakersfield holds every spring for students, faculty, and our community to give recognition to Chinese and Asian culture as they celebrate a new year,” Mao said.  

  Throughout the event, food was served and a small awards ceremony commenced that was held by Lisa Zarate. One of the awards was given to CSUB professor and chair of the Math Department, David Gove. 

  Jin-Ying Mao, the co-chair of the event, said “It’s a Chinese New Year Celebration it’s not only celebrated by Chinese people, but also by many Asian countries that’s why it’s called a Lunar New Year all spring festival, due to Chinese New Year having its own traditional Chinese Calendar.” Mao said.  

 Arturo Chavez a CSUB Student and Martial Arts Performer who participated in the Martial Arts demonstration at the event said, “It’s a positive and fun event to once again spread the culture and expose the tradition of the Chinese and Asian people and martial Arts.” Chavez said. 

 During one of the demonstrations one of the Kung Fu performers Arturo Chavez, made the audience interact with him by showing them how to do a kung fu fight demonstration with one another. The guests were satisfied with the demonstration because they learned a few moves about Kung Fu.  

 Heather Wight, a guest who came to see the celebration said “I’d thought it was going to be fun and educational for my daughter since she is homeschooled.” Wight said.  

 CSUB hosts an event for the, “Lunar New Year Celebration every year to recognize Asian cultural it’s not only Chinese New Year but we also celebrate Diwali, which is a Hindu festival,” Mao said.  

“Overall, the reason why I preform in the traditional Lion Dancing, and the Martial Arts Demonstration Dance is to share the evil spirits and good luck hence, the Chinese Lion Dance. Every part of the Lion costume has symbolism,” Chavez said.   

“One of my favorite parts of the event is to interact with the crowd and to spread the culture of my Kung Fu Style, Choy lee Fut.” Chavez said.  

 Wight said, “she did a little bit of research on YouTube about Lion dances, but she didn’t know that lions eat greens. She also didn’t know that they would do the Tai Chi Fan Dance.” Wight said.  

 The Lunar New Year Celebration left many CSUB community members, faculty and students leave with smiles on their faces.