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Experience the culture behind the Lunar New Year

Lieza Klemm

A Michigan State University culture expert encourages people to attend Lunar New Year events to see how it's celebrated.

Lunar New Year celebrations start on Feb. 10, slightly over a month later than the traditional Western New Year. It’s based on a lunisolar calendar, used by countries like China, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Dr. Lina Qu is an assistant professor in the Chinese program in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at Michigan State University. She is also a Chinese national.

“The lunisolar calendar has a lot to do with agriculture and farming practices, praying for good weather and harvest in the upcoming years,” Qu said.

The holiday revolves around spending time with family and recognizing achievements from the last year. But, Qu said, there is an emphasis on taking the time to pay respects to ancestors.

“This is also a time for older generations to give their blessings to the younger generations”.

Celebrations can last over two weeks. And when almost a quarter of the world recognizes the holiday, Qu said it's an opportunity for people to experience a different culture.

“Experience really speaks louder than any words or information,” she said. “People are celebrating Lunar New Year wherever there [are] Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese communities.”

Michigan State University’s College of Music is holding a Lunar New Year celebration concert in Cook Recital Hall on Saturday, Feb. 10. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the concert runs until 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for students.

The Great Lansing Chinese Association is hosting its annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Meridian Mall on Sunday, Feb. 11 starting at noon.

Lieza Klemm is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting
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