Lunar New Year celebrates Vietnamese culture in Union Courtyard

The Lunar New Year celebration was organized by the Vietnamese Student Association and the Union Program Council. The event was held Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Union Courtyard. (Gabriela Faraone | Collegian Media Group)

The Vietnamese Student Association and the Union Program Council co-sponsored a Lunar New Year celebration, which included traditional dance performances, colorful costumes and live music that filled every corner of the Union Courtyard on Saturday.

The preparation for this event began over a year ago, said Kelly Pham, president of the VSA and junior in biology.

“We started planning this day already on September 2018,” Pham said. “We had a lot of help and other students were very supportive to make this event possible.”

The main purpose of the event was to promote the diverse student body of Kansas State and share Vietnamese culture.

“Like every year, we try to bring a big event to share with people an important Vietnamese holiday, as is the Lunar New Year,” said Thu Annelise Nguyen, student adviser for the VSA and associate professor of toxicology.

As people arrived to watch the show, red envelopes were handed out to bring luck to all participants and spectators. Vietnamese tradition says celebrating the Lunar New Year expels bad luck and brings fortune to families and friends.

A reading of the history of the 12 zodiac signs opened the event, and the show began.

“This is my first time in an event like this one, and it’s very beautiful,” Ana Guanes, freshman in mechanical engineering, said.

Attendees wrote their wishes on yellow pieces of paper and then hung them on a small Tet tree.

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Yellow pieces of paper bearing words of wisdom and well wishes hang from the branches of a small Tet tree at the Lunar New Year celebration in the Union Courtyard. (Gabriela Faraone | Collegian Media Group)

Several attendees said they were glad to come to the Lunar New Year celebration.

“We saw a couple of weeks ago a flyer of the event, and it caught our attention,” Greice Dos Santos, freshman in agronomy, said. “It was worth it to come and participate.”