Chinese Lunar New Year celebrates the Year of the Mouse

Two women and a boy dressed in traditional Chinese attire

One of the most important celebrations in the Asian community is once again coming to the Marietta College campus.

Students, employees and the Marietta community are invited to celebrate the Year of the Mouse during the annual Lunar New Year celebration from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, January 31st in The Gathering Place. Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the first day of the Lunar calendar. It the most important holiday in many Asian communities and arguably the most widely celebrated holiday in the world. The mouse is the first sign of the 12-year Chinese Zodiac calendar.

The free event, which typically draws hundreds of guests, is organized by Marietta College’s Asian Studies Department and Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“Lunar New Year is a wonderful tradition that originated from Marietta College’s mentor family program,” said Marisa Menier, an intern with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and Education Abroad. “What once was a small gathering of mentor families connecting with their Marietta student’s home culture has grown to one of the largest events on campus. Lunar New Year still honors the College’s ties to China, but also has become a point of contact for community members who have adopted children from China, or who are otherwise interested in Chinese culture to connect to this international celebration.”

This year’s celebration will feature free food, an international fashion show, vocal and dance performances from local school children and Marietta College student organizations, and even a special Lion Dance from the World Champion of Martial Arts in the U.S., Sen Gao. Guests will automatically be entered into a drawing to win prizes. Other activities will include a hacky sack challenge, Chinese paper cutting and origami making station, and a photo booth.