UCI Welcomes the Year of the pig at the lunar new year celebration

by: Deryn Harris

UCI celebrated its third annual Lunar New Year celebration, welcoming the year of the pig, on Jan. 28 at the Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway Plaza.

Bill Maurer, dean of the School of Social Sciences, spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of celebrating different cultures at UCI.

“This is an opportunity to come together and to celebrate the New Year, but also to recognize all of the contributions of the diverse cultures and countries that celebrate this festival,” he said.

Lunar New Year is an annual festival celebrated in many Asian countries that correlates with the first new moon of the lunar year. This year, the first new moon occured on Feb. 5.

Many community members, families, and UCI students, staff, faculty, and alumni attended the lively cultural event. The Lunar New Year festival featured a UCI Jodaiko Drummers performance, a traditional Dragon Dance and a Gio Nam Lion Dance —  the traditional feeding of the lion. Many other traditional dances and songs were performed by UCI students and community members, including performances by the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center, DanceLova Dance Academy, Yaya Dance Academy and the UCI Vermillion Vocalist Group. Red ribbons hung from some of UCI’s bare trees as a part of the Chinese wishing tree tradition.

Vendors including PF Chang’s, Panda Express, Asian Box, 85°C Bakery Cafe, and Paradise Bowls came to the event to hand out free food. Prizes were also raffled off during the festival; Disneyland Resort raffled off several tickets during the event.

The celebration concluded with a dazzling light and sound show.