Chinese Lunar New Year party held at Akron's Chinese Christian Church

A Chinese Traditional Lunar New Year party was held in the Akron Chinese Christian Church gymnasium this past Saturday.

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture; its significance is equal to that of Christmas in Western countries.


A Chinese Traditional Lunar New Year party was held in the Akron Chinese Christian Church gymnasium this past Saturday.

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture; its significance is equal to that of Christmas in Western countries.

The Chinese Lunar New Years eve was on Feb 3. The party Saturday night was held for both the New Year Festival and the Lantern Festival. The Chinese Students and Scholar Association (CSSA), the Confucius Institute and The Chapel sponsored it.

I feel very excited, for this is the first year I celebrate the Lunar New Year with foreign friends, said Binglei, one of the volunteers at the party in charge of checking tickets for attendants. According to reports, the tickets for the party this year were sold out. 

As a tradition, Chinese food was served before the party. Two long queues were set up on both sides of the room, and the tables were packed with attendees. Theodore Johnson-Kanu was one of the non-Chinese students who were invited to attend by his Chinese friend.

I really do like the food, especially the orange chicken, said Johnson-Kanu. Johnson-Kanu had heard of the Chinese New Year in school, but didn’t know much about it until attending the party. His impression about China had mostly come from the Chinese restaurants here.

The opening was the Lion Dance performed by a local Kung-Fu studio. Many people here have never seen this kind of dance before.

The Lion Dance was so fantastic! Johnson-Kanu said. Other performances like the Peking Opera and the dance of love, the Lotus, were put on later. Not only UA students were involved in the performance; students from Kent State University, Solon Chinese School and church members from Akron Chinese Church were also involved.

Kaiyi Liu is a fifth year PhD student in Polymer Science. To him, the party is not exciting anymore, yet he still attends the party every year for the Chinese New Year atmosphere. He thought that the venue was smaller this year, but the food was better. Also, he suggested that UA should have a professional stage for this party.

Kristin Snyder was one of the performers at the party. She is a student currently studying through the Confucius Institute. She sang a Chinese pop song called The Roof with Chinese student Jimmy. This was her second time singing for the Lunar New Year party.

While some Chinese students who also performed that night were a little nervous, Snyder was not.

I don’t get nervous to sing anymore, I just get excited because I like to do it. But I think my boyfriend Jimmy was a little nervous, Snyder said.

She sang two songs for the party. The one with Jimmy was a pop song and another song was a Chinese traditional opera named Huangmei Opera. They practiced singing them while driving in the car.

I think our performance was okay. Everyone came up and said how good we were and asked me if I was American or Chinese. And it was great to be involved in a Chinese tradition.

Another American student, Shannon Anicas, was there too. While she wasn’t performing, she still received a lot of attention from people because of her dress. She wore a traditional Chinese Qipao to attend the party.

It felt strange wearing it. I am not used to all the attention I received when I was wearing it. It was so beautiful; I hope that I gave it the respect that it deserves. It is an honor to wear this traditional dress, Anicas said.

About 500 people attended this year, an increase of 200 from last year. The President of CSSA, Hui Cheng, said that because the Chinese student community becomes larger each year, they would certainly bring more people to the event.


” #1.2013691:1808265901.jpg:Dancing Chinese Students:Students dance to traditional Chinese music. The dance is called ?Girl in the Heaven.? Chinese Students and Scholar Association (CSSA), Confucius Institute and Akron?s Chinese Christian Church sponsored the event.:Qiu Jiang”
“#1.2013715:183474016.jpg:Lion Dance:The Lion Dance made a high tide for the Chinese Traditional Lunar New Year party. The dance was performed by a local kung-fu studio and included students from The University of Akron, Kent State University, Solon Chinese School and church members from the Akron Chinese Christian Church.:Qiu Jiang”
“#1.2013725:1453841181.jpg:Kristin Snyder:Kristin Snyder and her boyfriend sing a Chinese pop song, ?The Roof.? :Qiu Jiang”