The Chinese American Student Association hosts a New Year celeberation

The pounding of a drum filled the Marvin Center’s Continental Ballroom Saturday night as five lions danced from the back of the crowded room to the stage.

The audience laughed as the costumed performers were fed bits of lettuce, recreating a traditional dance for the Chinese American Student Association’s Lunar New Year Show.

Over the weekend, groups both on campus and in Chinatown celebrated the year of the rabbit, which began Feb. 3. Lunar New Year festivities will continue for about two weeks.

CASA’s celebration featured skits and songs, as well as a Kung-Fu demonstration.

“[The] lunar calendar used to be how Chinese people looked at years,” CASA President Jyi Song said before the event. The calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, “so it’s usually about a month later than the calendar we’re used to,” Song said.

Each year is also represented by a different animal, and Song explained the ancient story of the order of the 12 zodiacs.

“All of the animals got together to race, and it was the order of who finished first: rat, ox, tiger and then rabbit,” she said.

Ann Tran, a senior who attended CASA’s show, said she’s been very involved in the Asian community at GW and noted that the event was more modern than others.

“They’re appealing to the college crowd, but it is very much similar. You want to appeal to both crowds, and we are moving into another generation,” Tran said of the celebration.

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