Winter has certainly arrived by the end of January. But there were some beautiful scenes here at NC State, which already indicate the coming of spring. Among these is the atmosphere of Chinese Spring Festival or the Lunar Chinese New Year. After winter break, students often feel homesick, especially those who spent their time off at home with friends, familiar foods, and family.



The Chinese New Year is such an important cultural event for our students, and unquestionably is an emotional time for most of our cohort. In an effort to combat this homesickness, and to share a bit of Chinese culture with others as well, UPP planned this annual event, celebrating the holiday and inviting other NCSU students to join in on the celebrations. “The Chinese New Year is coming! I am so missing home!” UPP new intern, Rex Lei Xie, exclaimed in anticipation of the event.



Alexander Hall, the international student dorm, was once again decked out in Chinese decorations, reminiscent of the Mooncake Festival. There were many more people, the smell of fresh dumplings wafting through the rooms, and elaborate decorations. Red lanterns, blinking white lights, paper dragons and posters celebrating the Year of the Rooster colored the walls of the international student dorm recreation room.



Several stations segregated the party into manageable activities. In a separate room, tables were decorated with calligraphy paper and high quality ink and brushes. UPP students taught Americans how to draw calligraphy, though most everyone in the room was inexperienced and simply had fun using the brushes. “It has been long time since I have tried this, but I am still feeling it!” said UPP student Aurora as she showed off her calligraphy skills and taught many Foreign Language-Chinese students.



The main room had round tables managed by interns and students, where they taught each other how to play various American and Chinese games, using dice and cards. Uno was a popular favorite because it’s so simple, while Mahjong was a challenge for even the Chinese students.



The kitchen was a favorite spot for everyone. Fresh dumpling meat was made, and everyone took turns folding it into the dumpling dough. Brave intern Jessica kept everything in order by watching boiling pots and making sure everyone had a turn to partake in the tradition. “I actually didn’t know how to make dumplings before, but I will after today’s event!” Alice Luo, the new UPP intern, was serious in her quest to learn how to make perfect dumplings. Onlookers strayed to the outer edges of the kitchen, peering into the madness while munching on sweet peanuts.



“The dumplings are good!” said Caruthers Joel, an admirer of Asian culture who loved the cooking the most. “The dumplings were my favorite,” he mentioned, after eating more than a few!



Before leaving at 7pm, students got to try their luck in our Red Packet Raffle from the front desk, where a $10 bill might have been waiting for them. “I hope I got lucky from the red packet this year,” Xinyang Li said eagerly as she clutched her red packet. Unfortunately, she didn’t, but many others did! Xinyang was still lucky though, receiving a fortune in her packet reading, “Remember fondly of this last year, and fiercely plan to take on the new one in your own style!” Happy Chinese New Year!