Emory's Chinese Student Association hosted the Lunar Banquet last week, featuring traditional Chinese dance. | Erin Baker, Staff

Emory’s Chinese Student Association hosted the Lunar Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 21, in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The event featured authentic Chinese food and cultural performances. | Erin Baker, Staff

Emory Chinese Student Association (ECSA) hosted the Lunar Banquet at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 21, in order to bring alive the spirit of Chinese New Year at Emory.

In addition to allowing students to taste authentic Chinese food from The Royal China restaurant, the event — which has been organized at Emory for the past 15 years — features cultural performances.

This year, ECSA invited multiple student groups, including the band Momentum, Mulan dance group, Emory Swing Club and individual performers from Emory, the University of Georgia and other schools from the area.

There was a diverse set of performances, such as taiji, taekwondo, other martial arts, a magic show and other dance performances.

“Lunar Banquet is one of my favorite events to attend and to organise. The guests love the food and enjoy performances such as the lion dance and magic show which display the culture,” ECSA Vice President of Communication and Goizueta Business School junior Zhiding Wang said.

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations in the Chinese calendar. The celebration began on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Feb. 18, and will end with the Lantern Festival, which will be on March 5.

“In China, on this festival, almost everyone would watch the Chinese New Year celebration on TV and therefore, the show at the Lunar Banquet provides a way for Chinese students to feel at home,” added Wang.

Over the years, the celebrations have become widespread and are not only restricted to China, but also take place in surrounding countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and at various Chinatowns in countries all over the world.

“At Emory, this festival is greatly anticipated by international Chinese students who are away from home, as well as students from other nationalities,” ECSA Vice President of PR and College sophomore Rachel Wang said.

The event aims to bring together cultural heritage from the other side of the world to our campus and allows individuals to learn and feel the festivities unlike their own.​

– By Sumera Dang, Staff Writer