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TCU 360

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TCU celebrates Year of the Dragon with Lunar New Year event 

(Zahra Ahmad/Staff Photographer)
Students, faculty, staff and alumni gather inside the TCU intercultural center for Lunar New Year’s celebrations on Feb. 9, 2024. (Zahra Ahmad/Staff Photographer)

As people around the world began preparing for Lunar New Year, TCU International Services, the Kappa Lambda Delta sorority, the Chinese Club and the Korean Language Association hosted a celebration in the intercultural center on Friday, Feb. 9.  


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A musical performance of the four-stringed lute and the bamboo flute filled the room. Free food and boba tea drinks were offered to attendees. Lantern making, celebratory notes, a raffle, calligraphy and candy-filled traditional envelopes were some of the activities presented by the student organizations.

Student organizations unite for vibrant Lunar New Year celebration
Student organizations unite for vibrant Lunar New Year celebration

The TCU Cultural Connectors collaborated with Kappa Lambda Delta, the TCU Chinese Club and TCU’s Korean Language and Culture Association to host a Lunar New Year event on Feb. 9 in the intercultural center. 

Students were able to explore diverse traditions from across Asia with Asian cuisine and boba drinks, creative crafts like origami and calligraphy and other Lunar New Year traditions. 

Live music was also performed by alumna Chengjin Tian playing the Pipa, a four-stringed instrument similar to the guitar, and her friend Bingxia Lan playing the bamboo flute. 

Red envelopes were available upon arrival with candy and an informational pamphlet on the tradition inside. Traditionally, these envelopes are filled with cash which older relatives gift to younger family members to spread wealth and good luck. 

Many attendees wore a cheongsam, also known as qipao, a high-necked traditional dress for men and women. A lot of red was worn by attendees and part of the decorations as the color symbolizes good fortune in Chinese culture.

Each year is characterized by one of twelve Chinese zodiac signs. 2024 is the year of the dragon, symbolizing strength, power and success. Different countries across Asia may follow a different zodiac, according to AP News.

As the holiday focuses on good fortune and prosperity, the event included a station where students could write on a card with a prayer or wish for the new year. The cards were then displayed on a wall for all to see and take inspiration from. 

“I don't personally celebrate it at home,” Amelia Heimerman, junior nutrition major and Kappa Lambda Delta sister, said. “But it's just been really great to learn about my sisters who do celebrate it and learn more about Lunar New Year, what it means to all of my sisters and how they celebrate at home."

"It's amazing that they get to bring it here and share it with me and TCU," said Heimerman. 

“My favorite part, of course this is almost everyone’s favorite part, is the tradition where the elders put money inside a red envelope and give it to the young ones, symbolizing that they are passing down knowledge, wealth, and energy to them,” said Kieu Nguyen, a junior pre-med student and member of the Kappa Lambda Delta sorority. “Over here we just have candy, but in our culture, we give out real money.”  

“In the past, Lunar New Year would also be the time farmers harvested a lot of agricultural products so that’s when they celebrated it,” Nguyen said. 

Isabella Baddour, a senior and the president of the Chinese Club, told attendees the “club is open to everyone, we promote Chinese language and culture here at TCU and host events throughout each semester and it’s a lot of fun like this one.” 

The student organizations can be found on Instagram at @international.services, @kappalamdbadelta, @tcuchineseclub and @tcu_klca. 

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