The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Year of the Monkey

Year+of+the+Monkey

Appalachian State students held their own celebration of the Chinese New Year in I.G. Greer on Monday. The festival allowed students and different clubs to showcase their talents and ring in the year of the monkey together.

The Chinese New Year began on Feb. 8, 2016, and lasts until Jan. 27, 2017. For most people that celebrate the Chinese New Year, it is a time for renewal and the biggest events are returning home and visiting family, lecturer of Chinese Melvin Ballard said. In China, the lunar New Year has become the largest annual migration of humans on the planet, Ballard said.

The Chinese New Year festival is celebrated in accordance with the lunar calendar, which predates the Gregorian calendar. The traditional Chinese calendar is talked about as being the longest unbroken sequence of time measurement in history, Ballard said. The lunar calendar dates back to the 14th century, however there is hard evidence that it has existed as early as the Shang Dynasty in 1766-1122 B.C.E.

The Appalachian Chinese Culture Club held its annual Lunar New Year festival Monday at 6:30 p.m. Attendees watched multiple performances from student groups like NouN and Voice Male. From authentic Asian cuisine to informational presentations on various countries and their cultures, visitors could educate themselves on Asian customs and celebrate the New Year at the same time.
The Appalachian Chinese Culture Club held its annual Lunar New Year festival Monday at 6:30 p.m. Attendees watched multiple performances from student groups like NouN and Voice Male. From authentic Asian cuisine to informational presentations on various countries and their cultures, visitors could educate themselves on Asian customs and celebrate the New Year at the same time.

“We are on more stable ground by talking about evidence for a calendar exhibited in writings on oracle bones associated with the Shang Dynasty,” Ballard said.

The animal associated with the calendar this year is the monkey, who is clever, crafty and cunning. Ballard said that this year stock markets could be problematic and people should be warned about making major financial decisions during the year of the monkey. However, personal relationships with family members or significant others could work out well.

“While all of the animal signs have both positive and negative characteristics, it is generally accepted that the year of the monkey could see all sorts of flip-flops in terms of social organization,” Ballard said.

Anyone who was born in the year of the monkey are advised to take caution, as any year corresponding to an individual’s animal sign is a year that might be fraught with problems, Ballard said. Traditionally-minded people might carry a small protective talisman on them throughout the year.

Although the exact origin of animal association for the different years is unknown, there has been a suggestion about a yin yang theory.

“The concept of contrasting principles is prominent in the fact that six of the animals are domestic, while the remaining six are wild or believed to be wild in the case of the mythological dragon,” Ballard said.

Ballard said that there are many stories about the order of animals included in the calendar. The most prominent tale involves a race between a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. The order in which the animals crossed the finish line determined the years each animal represents.

App State CULTr presented a lecture entitled “At Home in the World: Religious Roots of Lunar New Year Customs in Asia and Abroad” given by Cuong Mai, a religious studies professor at Appalachian State.

After the lecture, Chinese Culture Club, Asian Student Association, Cultural Awareness Student Engagement Council and Chi Upsilon Sigma held a lunar New Year festival in the Parkway Ballroom. There was vegetarian fried rice and lo mien noodles provided by China Wok.

There were also performances from NouN, VoiceMale and Asian Student Association, as well as also poetry readings, a saxophone solo and storytelling by a member of CCC.

“This festival is a great opportunity to expand ones knowledge about Chinese and Asian culture,” secretary of CCC and freshman international business major Patrick “Eli” Schwarz said.

Maxwell Gordon, international business major and president of CCC, said the Chinese New Year’s Festival is one of the biggest and most widely celebrated festivals in eastern Asia.

This year there was a limited amount of performances, “in an attempt to make the event more blatantly educational in nature,” Gordon said, including presentations on different Asian countries’ new year traditions and trivia with prizes. There were informational tables set up for attendees to explore during intermission and special treats for those that stay after the intermission ended.

“As a cultural interest and education club, we feel that it is our duty and privilege to spread knowledge and appreciation of this festival to the rest of our Appalachian family,” Gordon said.

By: Katie Murawski, A&E Editor

Photos by: Malik Rahili, Editor in Chief 

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal