Chinese New Year began on February 16, 2018. The Chinese New Year (CNY) dinner is the biggest and the most important event of Chinese New Year. The dinner is usually held from midday to midnight on New Year Eve.
On this night, family members get together to make dumplings, tangyuan (or Yuanxiao – another kind dumpling that uses glutinous rice and sweet stuffing), and a variety of traditional Chinese dishes. It is the most extravagant dinner of the year.
Everyone dresses in red and sits together playing Mahjong, chatting, kids run around playing–setting off fireworks and firecrackers (which have been banned in the cities now), the seniors pass red packets (with cash money inside) to the juniors, etc. When dinner is ready, all members sit down, start to eat and drink and chat about the passing year until the midnight count-down, then the last round of fireworks are set off and the new year comes.
Since the 1980s, China Central Television (CCTV) has a live gala on the Eve, and watching the gala has become a part of every family’s new year celebration.
In honor of the Chinese New Year, the USAC Shanghai staff and faculty hosted a CNY banquet for all students.
The event included all the elements that are for the CNY, showing students the very tradition of how Chinese families celebrate their new year. All attendants were required to wear something red (or golden) (i.e. clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc.). Students and staff made dumplings and Tangyuan together, then each faculty welcomed students to their table to play various traditional games, including Mahjong, 24-point game (a math game using poker), picking peanuts with chopsticks, cutting red paper to make window decorations, making red lanterns, writing Fu character (Fu means fortune. It’s supposed to be put upside down on the door to signify Dao Fu – “Fortune arrives”) and Spring couplets, etc. During dinner, each faculty (seniors) passed a red packet to their students (juniors).
Since firecrackers are banned, the staff used electrical firecrackers to celebrate after the countdown. Lastly, a racing game got all students to challenge their knowledge about CNY. The winner got to bring a CNY gift home.
Here are several photos from the evening.