The International Student Program (ISP), the Chinese Student & Scholar Association, and the Skyline College Asian Studies Center hosted the Chinese Lantern Festival celebration at Skyline College on February 20, 2019 at the Fireside Dining Room. This festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar to mark the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Professor Hui Pate opened the program by welcoming everyone to the event. The event then began in earnest with Rachel Zhang captivating the audience with a story about the history of Chinese New Year and why it is celebrated. She then invited the audience to try out the event’s activities.
Students and staff alike tested their chopsticks and Chinese trivia skills by trying to pick up a ping pong ball from a bowl of water. Each ping pong ball has a number that corresponded to a question. Correct answers were rewarded with a choice of traditional Chinese treats such as milk candy, rice crackers or sachima (a Chinese pastry). Students were also shown how to do traditional Chinese papercutting (jiǎnzhǐ 剪纸) and Chinese calligraphy (shūfǎ 书法). The highlight of the event was a tasting of yuánxiāo (元宵) or tāngyuán (汤圆), a traditional Chinese dessert made of sticky rice with a sweet paste filling of peanuts or sesame. It is typically eaten with family members as it represents the family coming together.
The event was a great success with many attendees leaving with traditional Chinese treats, their own jiǎnzhǐ or shūfǎ and new knowledge of the Chinese culture.
Article & Photo by Clair Yeo-Sugajski