Dragons, performances light up Lunar New Year

The University of Miami community ringed in the Lunar New Year with a dragon dance and a fire spinning show Tuesday at the UC Patio.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors gathered at the celebrate the Third Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, which was held by Asian American Student Association and Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA).

According to sophomore Zhengzhi Zhang, a member of CSSA, the Lunar year is the “biggest event of the whole year” for the organization as well as in China.

Zhang’s favorite performance of the night was the mask changing show, also known as bian lian. This consisted of performers instantaneously changing vividly colored masks to the sound of traditional Chinese music.

Other performances included the intriguing dragon and lion dance accompanied by suspenseful drums that created an atmosphere reminiscent to Chinese traditions and a Kung Fu demonstration.

Students participated in interactive activities such as face painting with traditional Chinese masks. Freshman Sally Chang said the masks represented different genres including drama.

The UC Patio was decorated with red knots. Chang also explained that red knots, a symbol for good fortune, were one of the main icons that are traditionally associated with the Lunar New Year.

Sophomore Guannan Liu said that the most important part of celebrating the Lunar New Year is to expose the diverse student body to Chinese culture within a festive setting. Liu said the event allows Chinese students to share their culture “on the stage of the world.”