Chinese New Year was celebrated by Thunderbirds on the New Year’s Eve – January 30th evening at Greentree Apartments located right opposite to the campus. Both the Greater China Club and Taiwan Club planned and hosted this celebration. The planning and execution of this celebration needs commendable appreciation. Invitations were sent much early during the week through Facebook. Additional posters were displayed at the Commons and near classrooms. Also, members from these two clubs personally invited fellow classmates for the celebration.
The event started at 6.30 PM with generous distribution of dumplings, fried rice cake and beverages to the guests. There were separate dumplings for vegans and meat-lovers. Kudos to the organizers for taking us (vegans) into consideration. People who came to the party included Thunderbird students, family members and Thunderbird international friends. The whole place got filled in just about an hour. Students who had not met other friends during the first week of classes happen to meet them in the celebrations. We were guided to take a small red envelope. Inside the envelope there was a small coin shaped chocolate covered with golden wrapper and a small chit for Bingo. Later I was told that it is Chinese custom to receive a coin from elder people in the family during the New Year as a symbol of good luck.
There were games arranged. First we played a game of Ping-Pong with chopsticks. It was exciting and fun-filled. I saw few handling the Ping-Pong ball quite efficiently while few others fumbled to hold the ball in place. The next game was bingo. All of us, who were chitchatting around the venue, assembled near the center table and started playing Bingo. As the host announced every number, we were earnestly finding them in our chit. Few of us were lucky to win gifts like a vacuum cleaner, coffee maker and blender. Apart from these there were lots of unique traditional gifts distributed through lucky draw–like hand-made door hangings and chocolates. There was also a calligraphy table where the guests learned the art of calligraphy.
When I spoke to the organizers, I found that they had planned this celebration for more than a week. Also the initial expected number of attendees was 100 but more than 250 people attended this celebration. I could see the organizers busily cooking dumplings for us and providing the same to everyone. Little kids were given chocolates and small gifts. The whole celebration lasted for about 3-4 hours and we all had an amazing experience and came home with stomach and heart filled.