Cal State LA celebrates Year of the Rat

Tamerlane Salyk, Contributing Writer

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Year of the Rat has begun as Cal State LA students joined the celebration of the Lunar New Year 2020.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the holiday is rejoiced in China and other East Asian countries, where it is frequently celebrated as the biggest feast of the year. Thanks to Chinese artists from The Lion Dance team, Chinese students and other youth volunteers of Cal State LA diluted the academic atmosphere at the beginning of the Spring semester last Thursday with positive energy. 

Representatives of various organizations, like Center for the Pacific Island Family (CPAF) and Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) presented during the event, promoting information about the power of mindfulness and the benefits of healthy nutrition to the attendees. 

Many people stopped by to watch, take pictures and record videos when two Chinese dragons performed ceremonial dances accompanied by the heavy drum roll, which marked the beginning of the new year. Dragon dances were very emotional, lively, sometimes even aggressive.

After this dance keynote speaker Charlotte Nguyen, the founder of the wellness community Get Free! gave a speech about the power of mindfulness that changed the lives of hundreds of people, and that positivity comes from the celebration of holidays such as Lunar New Year. She stressed its ancient roots and congratulated everybody at the beginning of 2020, wishing all students to succeed this year. 

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Lunar New Year bears such a name because it is associated with the lunar-solar of the Chinese calendar. The exact date is determined based on the lunar phases. 

The origin of this holiday dates to ancient times; in its current form, it reflects respect for the myths, beliefs, and traditions that have survived in Chinese society. Each year is designated as one of the 12 zodiac animals. Even though Lunar New Years related to the Asian culture, this holiday is popular across the globe and reasons for that lies in its entertainment and unique atmosphere.