Photos: ACE Hosts Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon

Taiko drummers from the Great Lakes Taiko Center perform traditional melodies to help ring in the new year. The drummers opened the celebration and invited audience participation during one of their songs (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).

On Thursday, Asian Cultural Engagement (ACE) hosted a Lunar New Year celebration in the KC stack. Decorated with string lights, lanterns and Chinese zodiac placemats, ACE transformed the space into a cultural spectacle, immersing attendees into the traditions of Lunar New Year.

At the celebration was a Taiko drumming performance, Asian-inspired food and calligraphy. A photo booth was also featured, along with multiple presentations about the various ways that international students and faculty celebrate and interpret the Lunar New Year. 

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar, or moon phases. According to Britannica, the Lunar New Year presents a fresh start to the year and the renewal of prosperity, happiness and health.

Observed for centuries in Asian cultures, Lunar New Year is marked by the changing of the zodiac animal to represent the year ahead. According to People magazine, the Year of the Dragon, which began on Feb. 10, represents “vigor, strength and good fortune.” 

Bayasgalan Gantulga, Mongolia sophomore and ACE public relations manager, shared why it was important to host this event on campus. 

“Back home in Mongolia, the celebration is really big and important to me,” Gantulga said. “I’m happy to celebrate it in Albion too because it feels like home to me.”

Enkhmaa Buyanbadrakh, Mongolia sophomore and ACE president, had similar sentiments. 

“This is my first time organizing such a big event and I’m glad we could bring (the) Lunar New Year celebration to campus,” Buyanbadrakh said.

The KC stack adorned with Lunar New Year decorations. Students, faculty and staff were invited to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with ACE, which started on Feb. 10 (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Economics and Management Professor Zhen Li presents the way she and her family celebrate Chinese New Year. Li also discussed the similarities and differences between the Chinese and Lunar New Year (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Kate Faglie, Rochester Hills junior, and Cindy Ávila, Los Angeles junior, pose in the photo booth (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
The calligraphy station, equipped with traditional pens and paper (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
Physics Professor Demian Cho from Seoul, Korea, presents to the audience about Korean New Year traditions and the way he celebrates yearly (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
The food station provided by Metz Culinary features Asian-inspired dishes such as fried rice, pad thai, Korean beef and fried dumplings (Photo by Katherine Simpkins).
About Katherine Simpkins 24 Articles
Katherine Simpkins, aka "Kat", is a senior from Adrian, MI. She is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Educational Studies. Her passion for journalism started at an early age when she picked up her camera and started seeing life from a different perspective. In her free time, you can find Kat snuggled up next to her cat, Phoebe; named after the best "Friends" character. You can contact her at

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