“Ruff! Ruff!” Come Celebrate The Dog’s Top Spot on the Lunar Calendar
It’s the Year of Dog! And the public is invited to participate in a celebration of the honest, loyal, and reliable canine this Friday, February 16, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Davidson College’s Alvarez Student Union.
Also known in China as the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year has been recognized for thousands of years. Today, it is celebrated by approximately 1.4 billion people in China, and hundreds of millions more across Asia. Countries such as Vietnam, Korea, and Thailand celebrate the occasion in both similar and unique ways reflecting their individual cultures. Davidson students have staged a campus celebration of the holiday since 2003.
Each Lunar Year is represented by one of 12 animals— rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The dog is the eleventh anim al in the sequence, and the pig is the twelfth. The 2020 Lunar New Year cycles back to the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Rooster was celebrated on January 28, 2017, and The Year of the Pig will be recognized on February 5, 2019.
Each Lunar New Year begins on a different date on the Western calendar, but normally occurs in January or February.
This is year 4716 in the lunar calendar, which is based on astronomical calculations and measurements of the phases of the moon and the angle of the sun. The Chinese did not begin to officially recognize the Gregorian calendar system until the end of the 20th century.
Students from Davidson’s Asian Culture and Awareness Association (ACAA) and the Chinese Culture Club (CCC) are involved in the Friday night event. It will include displays and demonstrations, calligraphy lessons, and Asian food. The “Little Lotus” troupe will demonstrate dances, and the event will conclude with a fireworks display at 8 p.m.
Student member Xirui (Coraline) Xu said, “The celebration of the Lunar New Year is a part of my cultural identity—a ritual that brings back happy memories of family, friends, and making and eating delicious dumplings!”
She continued, “Coming to the United States, this feeling has only deepened because I am proud of my Chinese heritage and where I come from.” Coraline’s home is Beijing, China, about 7,100 miles away and 15 hours of flight time. Her good friend, Buer (Hermione) Su, from Guangzhou, echoed similar sentiments adding, “I really want people to know the significance of the Lunar New Year, and learn about this great tradition.”
For further information contact ACAA Social Chair, Kylie Leung at [email protected]
Robert Lum is a retired FBI Special Agent and consultant. He and his wife Cathy have resided in Davidson since 2010, along with their furry and cheerful companion, Murphy. Robert now enjoys the more peaceful life in Davidson, and looks forward to meeting interesting people with stories to tell.