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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Year of Dragon has begun  

Ashland Chinese community initiated celebration of a Lunar New Year 
Dana Krukovska
The event was attended by AU students, graduates and the local community. 

 On Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. Coalition for Christian Outreach at Ashland University organized a Chinese New Year Celebration in a Lower Chapel. 

According to the lunisolar calendar, there are 12 animals, one for each year. On Feb. 10, the year of dragon took over the year of rabbit serving as an occasion to celebrate the Spring Festival, which is another name for Lunar New Year. 

Chinese New Year was hosted by Na Yang and Dolly Dong. Both women are from China and are involved in CCO and Chinese Church Ministry, located in downtown Ashland at First Presbyterian Church. Madison Fish, CCO Intern and a senior at AU majoring in Biology, also helped prepare and execute the event. 

The festival started with a welcoming word and a prayer. It proceeded with an educational video and interactive discussion with the audience about the traditions of welcoming the New Year. 

Dong said around 220-240 people attended the celebration that night. “We expected many people, but we didn’t expect this many,” Yang added.  

Even though the event lasted for four hours, the majority stayed until the end. Many of those who came were international students and people of diverse backgrounds. Yang said, “It`s a really good time for us to gather the students, friends and local church together as a family; create an occasion to celebrate culture together.”  

Maria Carrillo, from Mexico, came to the event with her family and friends, wearing her traditional costume. She is part of the Ashland Chinese Church Ministry, and this was her second lunar year celebration. She enjoyed the diverse community present at the event. She said, “I like it because it makes it possible to have all these nationalities together.” 

Chinese New Year is a family gathering. Jiaxing Ouyang, ACCESS Program student from China, mentioned that traditions practiced on this day vary from region to region. He said, “In my family, we just spend family time together: watch movies, clean our house and cook food.” This night was Ouyang`s first big celebration of the spring festival. 

This event attracted not only the international community but also Ohioans. One of them was Derrick Kencsan. He spent 15 years working in China and is now friends with Chinese people who live in Ashland area.  

Kencsan participated in the costume parade wearing the outfit he bought in China a decade ago. He was reminiscing amazing parties and firework displays that took place every day for two weeks when the new year was approaching in China. CCO gave Kencsan a reason for a party and reminded him about experiences he had in foreign country. 

The event not only embraced Chinese customs, but also encouraged international community to share its cultures. A talent show featured people from various parts of the world singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. 

The traditional costumes parade was a highlight of a celebration. Chinese, Indian, Nepali, Bangladesh, Japanese, Korean and Mexican national clothes were represented.  

The food for the celebration was prepared and brought to the event by Chinese community and it`s friends. There was a variety of noodles, rice, salads, sushi, Chinese snacks and pastries. Pizza was also there to fulfil the needs of everyone.  

More on Coalition for Christian Outreach 

CCO is an international student ministry which functions under the Office of Christian Ministry at AU. Organization spreads the Gospel with a goal to transform the world through transforming college students. It also gives spiritual care for the people who are not Christian. There are regular events that CCO holds, such as Tuesday Chinese lunches and Thursday tea gatherings at Lower Chapel.  

For more information on this organization, check out its Ashland Engage page  

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