Celebrating Lunar New Year at Rice

Author: Yanyu Z., ’22

Lunar New Year is the most important festival for Chinese people. Usually this is the time of the year where families gather together to celebrate the beginning of a new year. However, as an international student from China at Rice I had to stay on campus since the new semester had started. Luckily, Rice is such an international place where I don’t feel lonely during this special time.

The CSA (Chinese Student Association) and RCSSA (Rice Chinese Students and Scholars Association) had their annual lunar new year celebration over the last two weekends. I got to enjoy delicious Chinese food ordered from Houston’s Chinatown and watch amazing shows not only celebrating Chinese culture but the Asian culture as a whole. My friends and I even went out for a hot pot and watched “chunwan” (the famous Spring Festival Gala held by China Central Television). In general, Houston is such an international city and Rice consists of many different ethnic and racial groups that different cultures are well represented. Besides celebrating Lunar New Year, Rice holds many cultural events such as Africayé (a showcase celebrating African culture) and Ritmo (a showcase celebrating Hispanic culture).

No matter where you’re from, you can always find your group and learn to appreciate other cultures through various events on campus. This is why I love studying at Rice, not only for its prestigious academics but also for its care and attention to celebrating and embracing different cultures.