FHSU Celebrates ‘Year of the Tiger’ with Lunar New Year festivities

BY ALICIA FEYERHERM

FHSU Student Engagement hosted a Lunar New Year Celebration from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Union Ballroom on Friday. 

Lunar New Year is a festival celebrated in China and other Asian countries that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and lasts fifteen days until the first full moon of the lunar calendar. 

In the Lunar Calendar, each year is represented by an animal, and this year is the year of the Tiger. The first 30 participants at the event were given tiger stuffed animals. 

The night started off with food and a presentation over Lunar New Year. Then the group watched a live cooking demonstration and learned how to make dumplings using materials at their tables. 

Student Engagement Worker Cooper Krueger then demonstrated how to make paper lanterns. 

“My part was putting together all the pieces for the Tiger paper lanterns,” Krueger said. “Each kit had to be made and then I led the demonstration on how to put them together.” 

The night ended with a Dragon Dance by the international students. 

As students left, they could take candy, chopsticks and a red envelope. Red envelopes symbolize good luck and typically contain money, but instead, these envelopes had coupons to the Victor E. Apparel & Gift Co., Chartwells Dining and Breathe.

Graduate Assistant for Student Engagement, Misael Trejo helped plan the event. Trejo graduated with a degree in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays in 2019 and was then offered a job teaching English in Beijing. 

“Right now, we only have about 100 international students and I know that feeling when I was in China, feeling by yourself, so I get how they’re feeling here,” Trejo said. “I wanted to celebrate this with them tonight.” 

Trejo involved International Student Services, Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Residential Hall Association in the planning and execution of the event. 

“Lunar New Year is like Christmas,” Trejo said. “It’s important to bring cultural activities like this to campus.” 

About 100 people attended the event with around 65 of those being Fort Hays students. Student Brenna Koelher came to the event to learn more about the celebration. 

“I’ve celebrated the Chinese New Year and the Lunar New Year before and I know a little bit about it, but I’m excited to learn more about the culture,” Koelher said. 

Student McKena McBride attended for similar reasons. 

“I’m not very knowledgeable about Lunar New Year and I thought it’d be fun to come and see everything they have to offer and what they have to say about it,” McBride said. 

Trejo appreciates all the attendees and thanks those who helped make the event possible.

“We were on a bit of a time crunch since we only came back to school a few weeks ago,” Trejo said. “The director, interim coordinator, and all the student workers got together as a team and we made it happen. I really admire their work ethic.”

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