Lunar New Year Celebration brings university community together

The kung-fu performance group, West Haven, Jan. 27, 2023.

Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated by people of Asian descent, and celebrates the arrival of spring. The university’s Office of Graduate and International Student Life (OGISL) and the Asian-American Student Union (AASU) collaborated to pull off a Lunar New Year Celebration held in the Bucknall Theater this past Friday.
The Director of Graduate and International Student Life Steve Macchiarolo wished attendees a happy new year and welcomed recent alumni Pearly Ng, who graduated in December 2022 with a Master’s of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Ng started off the event by welcoming in the Year of the Rabbit. “I want to wish everyone [an] abundance of joy, fortune, prosperity and most importantly good health,” said Ng.
Ng introduced the Lion Dance, which is a dance done by performers dressed in lion costumes. Ng said the dance “brings good fortune and helps chase evil spirits away.” Purple and red stage lights came on as two lions with jingling bells came down the sides of the theater and onto the stage, which got cheers from the audience. Once on the stage, the lions commenced a duo performance.
The lights came on before Dr. Henry C. Lee came onstage and thanked OGISL and AASU for putting together the celebration. Lee explained the Year of the Rabbit, which was accompanied by presentation slides that said, “People born in a Year of the Rabbit are called ‘Rabbits’ and believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.”
Next, Lee presented Lunar New Year gifts, which include red envelopes, oranges or tangerines and a Lunar Calendar, among many more. He then played questionnaire games with the audience and used red envelopes filled with money as prizes. One set of questions were about Lee, such as when he joined the university, what the most famous case he investigated in Taiwan was and the name of his U.S. television show. Then, Lee asked members of the audience to guess the person they saw on the slideshow; these people included interim president Sheahon Zenger, famous singer Wayne Newton, actor Steve Segal and many more people that Lee got to meet.
After the er-hu performance, Pearly Ng came on stage and talked about Kung Fu – a Chinese martial art – which is “one of the deadliest martial arts in the world,” said Ng. Members of the Wu Dang Kung Fu Academy in West Haven gave a performance of their skills, all of which was coordinated excellently and stayed intense throughout.
Abigail Chang, a forensic science major and executive assistant and secretary of AASU, gave a Tai Chi demonstration. The demonstration went along while a recording of Tai Chi instructions was played.
A piano performance came from Bryan Cadavos, a genetics and biotechnology major and AASU president. Cadavos played two compositions and dedicated them to Dr. Kento Yasuhara, who passed away earlier this year. The AASU President told the audience that Dr. Yasuhara was the founder and advisor of AASU. “I think that dedicating this song will help,” said Cadavos.
The night ended with Ng bidding everyone good night and a round of applause from the audience.

Yingna Lu playing the violin, West Haven, Jan. 27, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Krista Smith)