July 16, 2019 | 67° F

Ring in Pan Asian Lunar New Year, year of the crow


To ring in, or rather crow in, the Lunar New Year of the Rooster the Asian American Culture Center (AACC) is celebrating with their annual Lunar New Year showcase.

The event will take place this coming Friday, Feb. 3 at the Busch Student Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the AACC will be ringing in the New Year with performances and free food while exploring the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year.

One of the special performers at the event will be taiko drumming group Soh Daiko. The word taiko is the Japanese word for drum.

According to the group's website, taiko was traditionally used for ritual entertainments and festivals to summon gods and spirits, drive away evil forces and give strength and courage to warriors.

Soh Daiko was established in 1979 as the first taiko drumming group on the East Coast under the guidance of the New York Buddhist Church according to the website.

Another group to be featured at the festival is Bollywood Touch, a dance group located in Manhattan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Additionally performing is the Xiaolin Martial Arts Lion Dance team based in Staten Island, New York.

According to the Xiaolin Martial Arts Facebook page the martial arts form uses traditional Kung Fu to provide killer workouts and real world self defense.

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Residence Life.

The Asian American Cultural Center, who is putting on the event, was founded in 1999 has a mission of showcasing contributions of Asians and Asian Americans through a wide array of cultural presentations, exhibits, performances, demonstrations, lectures, seminars and meetings, according to the groups Rutgers site.

According to CCTV parades have been featured celebrating the Lunar New Year all across the world in cities such as Vancouver, London, Liverpool, Warsaw, Birmingham, Dunham, Edinburg, Leeds, Newcastle, Washington DC, Yokohama and more.

Asian Americans represent 25 percent of the Rutgers student population, according to the AACC Rutgers site.

“Acting as an informal home away from home for many undergraduate and graduate students, the AACC is a place where friendship, diversity, and unity bloom” according to their site.

Several Asian cultures and countries celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is celebrated from late-January to mid-February in regions such as China, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore.

For past events, the stage is covered with streamers and balloons and the room is filled with tables and booths serving free food.

The dances and performances are loud and colorful and the performers are dressed in bright colorful costumes matching one another for the occasion.

This Lunar New Year is said to be the year of the rooster so one can imagine the festival will feature a lot of red, as that is the color of the rooster.

The rooster is a 12-year cycle animal and is the only bird included in the Chinese zodiac calendar.

According to the zodiac biography on the China Highlights website the roosters are very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented.

Therefore I can only imagine the celebration for the year of the rooster will be one that exhibits the attributes of the animal it is celebrating.

Brielle Diskin

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