5 February 2019
Dining and Hospitality will partner with Student Services to host a celebration of the Lunar New Year on Feb. 5. The event will be an opportunity to explore diverse cultures for staff, students and alumni.
The Chinese calendar, a lunisolar calendar, is formed on the movement of the moon. The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle and each year in that cycle related to an animal sign.
The relationship between people and the twelve animals is similar to that of the western astrology signs. A person’s date of birth on the lunar calendar determines their animal sign. The animal sign implies a person’s personality, love compatibility and fortune.
The year of 2019 is the Year of the Pig and it represents the end of the zodiac cycle.
Featured on the Chinese New Year 2019 website, the Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place.
In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well.
This is the first year that Dining and Hospitality is hosting an event for the Lunar New Year. The celebration is hoped to become an annual event by Dining Services Business Systems and Marketing Manager Polly Knutson.
The celebration is planned to be an opportunity for diversity and education, in addition to a recreational activity. In keeping with tradition of intergenerational exchange of wisdom and wealth, alumni are invited to join in the celebration and interact with current students. Additionally, student organizations such as the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union are expected to help with activities.
Since the Lunar New Year is celebrated across many different Asian cultures, food from different parts of the eastern world is expected to be present. Among other items, dumplings, soups, egg rolls and a noodle bar is anticipated to be served.
”We want the food items to help students learn and explore cultural diversity,” said Jessica Bell, business services professional with Dining and Food Services.
The celebration will also include giveaways and decorations.
In addition to bringing the outside community into UCCS, Dining and Hospitality wants to submit the event for award consideration with NACUFS (National Association of College and University Food Services). The sole purpose of the organization is to evaluate the food services of higher education facilities.
A new year is not the only thing that Dining and Hospitality is kicking off with the celebration.
Knutson and Bell stated that Cafe 65 will be adding an Asian food vendor, which was decided on thanks to student feedback.
“Dining and Hospitality is here for the students specifically, so feedback is always welcome,” said Knutson.
The Lunar New Year Celebration will be held Feb. 5 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Roaring Fork Dining Hall.
Students with meal plans will be able to attend the event for free. The cost for faculty, staff and commuter students is $12.95. For alumni and the public, the cost is $17.35.