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Spring Festival

It’s officially the year of the Dragon and what better way to celebrate than the annual Chinese Spring Festival Celebration Party hosted by the Caltech C right on the Caltech campus!! This event consists of a buffet style dinner with authentic Chinese dishes followed by a cultural performance showcasing the rich history and traditions of China through dancing, singing, skits, poetry, etc. to welcome in a new year.

I was really excited not only for a delicious dinner but also the showcase of performances. The celebration was right on Caltech campus in the auditorium of the Baxter Building. I got there right as the event started and to my pleasant surprise, there were a lot of people lining up for the event. The buffet dinner had a variety of dishes and certainly filled me up!
Then, the highly anticipated main performance events and was very well attended– the whole auditorium was practically filled with families and people of all different ages!I was mesmerized by beautifully choreographed dances with colorful costumes and also, the rich culture they represented. For instance, there was a dance inspired by the horse riding of the Manchus, an ethnic minority from the northern regions such as inner Mongolia. This dancers really elegantly conveyed the integral importance of horse-riding in the culture such as during hunting and the choreography consisted of many fast dance moves and high jumps!

Moreover, since this celebration is indeed a celebration of the beginning of Spring according to the Lunar calendar and the end of Winter, there was a dance group from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) that came and performed a Spring Festival dance:

The dancers wore blossoms as headpieces to symbolize the coming and welcoming of Spring!

Moreover, there were poetry readings and also talent performances such as music and singing from participants of all ages:

There was even one elderly participant who was so inspired by how quickly time flies by and fast paced progress that he was inspired to write a poem in the traditional Chinese format and recited it in Cantonese. Also, there were comedy skits that elicited laughter from the audience about a young soon to be wed couple with many (hilarious) miscommunications:

I realized how this Spring Festival is so much more than celebrating the lunar calendar beginning of Spring and end of Winter– this celebration is a way for all generations to come together, celebrate the rich history and traditions and to welcome in the New Year with hope and optimism.

Here’s a happy, healthy and successful New Year! Cheers to the Year of the Dragon!

Catherine Xie