On February 3, the students of the Master of Applied Economics (MAE) program gathered in Foster Library to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival. The festivities started off with a short video highlighting traditional Spring Festival activities in China, bringing pleasant memories of this special event to many Chinese students. Students then participated in a “game of celebration.” Divided into five competing groups, the losing group was required to watch a dance video and then try their best to imitate the dance. After the game, students enjoyed traditional Chinese food—most thought it was pretty authentic. After dinner, some students chatted together, while others played card games. As a small gift, red "lucky" stickers were handed out to attendees. Being away from family members during Spring Festival was a bit sad for some Chinese students, but this event helped to alleviate their homesickness. Also, it helped students from other countries to experience some Chinese traditions and customs. Thank you to MAE student leaders, Xingyu Bai, and Yenibel Cuevas, who organized the event.
Chinese Spring Festival is celebrated by one-fifth of the world. The journey back home is called Spring Migration (chunyun). The celebration results in the most significant domestic migration in the world.
According to famous Chinese legend, a monster called Nian would appear on new year's day and terrorize villages, but one boy was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. It was then discovered that Nian could be kept at bay by fire, loud noises, and the color red. That is why celebrations in China today incorporate fireworks, firecrackers, drums, and lots of red decorations ("lucky" stickers) and clothing. Red is one of the lucky colors in China, and wearing it during the festival is said to bring good fortune.