Students enjoy their meals and socialize during the Lunar New Year Celebration at Titan Court on Jan. 26.

Over 100 students turned out to the Lunar New Year Celebration Thursday evening, Jan. 26 at Titan Court.

Beth Schenderlein, International Student Services Advisor with Lane Community College International Programs, coordinated the event. The food was prepared by three local restaurants. Student workers from the international program set up the event and served food and drinks.

The attendees were mostly Lane students, some of whom brought friends. Many of the students who attended the event are international students from various nations including Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Colombia.

Students checked in, were given their meals and sat around large communal tables to dine and socialize.

Lunar New Year is the first calendar day of the year according to systems that synchronize with lunar cycles. Historically, many cultures throughout Asia and the Middle East have used variations of four different lunar calendars. The holiday is still an important celebration in these regions, and for many immigrants who live in the United States.

The East Asian new year celebrations, falling at the end of January or early February, are derived from the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Traditionally, the celebrations existed to honor deities and ancestors.

“Because so many students are from Asia, this is the biggest celebration of the year,” Schenderlein said. “Students have come up to me thanking me, because this makes them feel at home, and we honor their culture.”

Ian Trautman // The Torch
Ki Hoon Seo (left) and Afiqah Jamaluddin (right), students with Lane International Programs, serve guests dinner at the celebration.