Sounds of traditional Chinese music echoed throughout the Student Union yesterday to represent happiness and good luck for the New Year.
Feb. 25 marked the 15th and final day of the Chinese New Year, also known as the annual Spring Festival. The Chinese Scholar Student Association (CSSA) held a Temple Fair in the Student Union yesterday to provide Chinese students a way to feel at home.
Ziqian Wang, a senior business major and vice president of CSSA, said they made sure to base each activity on Chinese traditions.
"Back home, we always have firecrackers, more people, more activities and more celebrations," Wang said. "Here we have only a few Chinese people to celebrate. Back home, this time [of the year is] all busy. Everything is closed; nobody works for the whole holiday. But here, they are just normal days."
In China, businesses are closed for 15 days and people take the time off to get together with family and friends. This can be difficult for the students who are miles away from their family, according to Guan Chen, a third-year Ph.D. student and president of CSSA.
He hopes CSSA can help Chinese student who needs a place to celebrate the holiday.
"You can come to CSSA to enjoy it like a family," Chen said. "Chinese students come to UB to study so our club's responsibility is to gather all the Chinese students together and to enjoy the tradition so they won't feel homeless because we are all a big family."
As much as CSSA tries, festivities at UB can't be the same as in China, said Janice Lin, sophomore marketing major, and member of CSSA. To her, the everyday feeling of the New Year is different - it's less celebratory.
"Here it's just a holiday and people can't always come together," Lin said. "But that's a major part of what makes the New Year so special."
The CSSA incorporated many traditional aspects of the holiday into their celebration in the union including traditional foods - unlike Chinese take-out, according to Lin - and paper art.
Paper cutting is Wang's favorite part of the Spring Festival. She said it is tradition to put paper cuttings in the windows of her home to represent good luck for the New Year.
Chen, Lin and Wang have come to think of CSSA as their family away from home and they enjoy celebrating the New Year annually at UB.