By Heather Kim
It’s 2017, the year of the Rooster, and everyone wants some luck.
Yesterday, this university’s Chinese Student Association held their most anticipated and largest event of the year: the annual Lunar Banquet. An evening stacked with riveting performances and traditional Chinese food, the event was a celebration of luck in the year to come.
Stamp’s Grand Ballroom was packed as the event sold out the day beforehand. Elaborate red and gold envelopes, along with lanterns and sugary candies, covered the black tables surrounded by guests coming from a variety of groups around campus and beyond. Many students involved in the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community came out to the event to show their support for others in their community.
The energy in the room was positive and uplifting, held aloft by those attending and the stunning performances. Spectators were not disappointed because each act was as entertaining as the last. From traditional Chinese Lion Dance to modern K-Pop dance covers, the performances were enjoyable and diverse.
The Lunar Banquet was just a glimpse of the complexity and beauty of Chinese culture. However, within that glimpse, attendees could experience the honest feeling of celebration with one another.
A member of CSA wears a rooster mask in celebration of the Year of the Rooster. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The Jow Ga Lion & Dragon Dance Team excited the entire ballroom with a thrilling performance of traditional Chinese Lion Dance. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The Lion Dance team from Columbia, Maryland performed highly entertaining stunts that had the room in a constant fit of laughter and a feeling of awe. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The banquet was complete with multiple tables of delicious and traditional Chinese food, served by helpful CSA members. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Sophomore, Disha Shetty (left), and freshman, Audrey Tarn, both computer science majors, pose with Lily Zhang, a sophomore french literature major. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The decorative red envelopes also stand for good luck within Chinese culture. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
UMCP Vietnamese Student Association shows their support for the event by posing for a photo. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The lead singer of Naga, a band based in Philadelphia, entertained the room with covers of some Lady Gaga along with some Chinese pop. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Band members of Naga enjoying themselves as they perform. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The Tianyi Dance Team, University of Maryland’s only Chinese cultural dance team, wowed the audience with a beautiful performance. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The team was a sight to behold as they had brightly colored umbrellas and outfits. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
The dance team performs folk and traditional Chinese dance. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Performer, Eric Yang, played a traditional Chinese song on his violin for the event. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Some members of G-girls & the Wasabi Boyz, a dance team at UMD that does covers of dances from various Asian music groups along with self-made choreography, ends their performance with a team pose. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Matthew Jiang, the MC for the banquet, kept the festivities going with light jokes and positive remarks. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Featured Photo Credit: All of the tables were decorated in mesmerizing red and gold envelopes along with lanterns and traditional Chinese candies. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Heather Kim is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.