In the U.S., New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. In other countries, the goal is the same, but the time of year is different.
Family, friends, and onlookers gathered at Meridian Mall on February 18 to celebrate the sixth annual Chinese New Year Gala. The event that is hosted by The Greater Lansing Chinese Association, is a chance of Chinese Americans to celebrate their culture with one another and educate those that that don’t have knowledge on local customs.
“It’s great to see this event grow each year,” said Julie Jiang, chairwoman of the Greater Lansing Chinese Association Broad.
The sounds of music from local bands playing and children laughing made it easy to find where the gala was taking place. Between J.C. Penny and the food court, there was plenty of traffic. There was a raffle taking place throughout the four-hour event. Participants could win anything from a 50-inch television to gift cards from local businesses.
Many of the organizations involved had actives catered to children while different perform were on stage. Confucius Institute at MSU, had a table where kids could make mask with different colors and fun accessories.
There were performances from all different ages and styles. From singing to dancing and even tai chi. The energy was high throughout the day. As each performer were entering the stage there were multiple host to introduced them. On would speak Chinese and the other English.
Dillon Jaghory, was one of the hosts. This was the 24-year-old MSU grad’s second time hosting.
“I love opening and learning about different cultures,” said Jaghory.
Different Michigan State University organizations help to sponsor the gala. MSU Asian Studies Center was one of the organizations that participated that afternoon.
“The goal of the group is to get students and kids excited about Asia and learning new languages,” said Jennifer Pippin, outreach coordinator.
The Chinese New Year Gala is a passion project for those involved in setting everything up.
“We are a group made up of volunteers and we usually meet in the fall to start thinking about ways to raise money,” said Jiang.