While Chinese classical music with a touch of modernity played in the background, the FRCC Westminster Multicultural Center celebrated the dawning of the Chinese New Year this Monday the 23rd, also known as the Lunar New Year. A key way they did so was through the plethora of posters around the room that educated those unfamiliar with the Lunar New Year about various traditions associated with it.
Some of the traditions detailed on these posters include the origin of the Lantern Festival, the reunion dinner and its significance, what each of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac are (and why they rotate each year in the order that they do), and things to not do in the Lunar New Year (such as gifting certain gifts such as clocks, saying negative words, and cleaning during the celebrations), among many others.
The Multicultural Center, which held the event, was adorned with all kinds of decorations that are associated with the Lunar New Year. Lanterns, door couplets, dragon heads, and more, all decorated in the New-Year-related colors of red and gold, gave the room an appropriate New Year feel.
There was a wheel that had numbers written on it, plus a lucky space drawn in red and which had a rabbit on it, the animal representing this current Lunar New Year. Each number corresponded to a question related to the long-running festivities, such as “What does Fú mean?”
Answering this question correctly or landing on the lucky space (which meant you did not have to answer a question) meant that you would receive food provided by the event. Two of the available dishes were chicken dumplings, a food closely associated with the Lunar New Year. For those who are vegetarian, donuts in the style of those that could be found at a Chinese buffet were provided as an alternate option. The food was then put in tiny boxes similar to ones you would get from a Chinese takeout and served.
Yasameen Housini, the leader of the events hosted by the Multicultural Center, explained why she and the center decided to host an event like this:
“This space here is the Multicultural Center, so we host events from different cultures here,” said Housini. “We try to incorporate different cultures, to get people learning.”
With this event being celebrated in the depth and passion it had been, its multi-angled diversity and the added incentive of free food, the 2023 Lunar New Year festival at Front Range was successful overall in its goals. The next event the Multicultural Center will be hosting is Bachata Lessons and Dance, being held in the Rotunda on Friday, February 3rd from 7 to 10 pm.
Photos provided by Seth Ciancio