The annual Chinese New Year Gala will take place at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the IU Auditorium, featuring food and performances to celebrate the year of the pig.
While the 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year occurs Feb. 5, the celebration spans a couple of weeks.
The gala is put on by the IU Chinese Students and Scholars Association and is open to the public. The free event has attracted more than 2,000 people in past years.
“Chinese Lunar New Year is like as important as Christmas in America because it is a family gathering time,” said YiFan Wu, senior and vice president of CSSA.
Ivan Liu, graduate student and vice president of CSSA, said the group will serve traditional Chinese food provided by popular Bloomington restaurants such as Gourmet Garden. Dishes will include braised beef brisket, tofu, dumplings and rice.
“It lets all of the Chinese students here just feel at home at IU,” Liu said. “Students around campus can taste the authentic Chinese food.”
After dinner is served, the CSSA will present a live show featuring singing, dancing, musical performances, comedians and even a magic show.
“We invite all student organizations from around campus to join the Gala,” Liu said. “We basically just provide a stage for the student organizations to perform, to show their talents.”
The show includes different student organizations from around campus such as the Heping Chinese Theater Club and X-Power Dance Club. The Heping Chinese Theater Club will be putting on a 12-minute comedy performance.
“The comedy is very important to a Chinese New Year show,” said Panxin Liu, junior and Heping Chinese Theater Club president. “It’s really crucial because people just want to watch a comedy.”
Distributing gifts is a part of Chinese culture, so the event will feature a lottery as well. All attendees will be given a ticket that enters them in a raffle for prizes such as a Nintendo Switch, a television, 20 different lipsticks from brands including Givenchy and Tom Ford and a grand prize that has yet to be announced.
“At the end of the year we just wanted to pay back the community,” Wu said. “Our organization would be nothing without all of the students and the support from everyone.”
Wu said he believes it is important for students to get to know other cultures, and the Gala will help teach students about Chinese culture.
“China is one of the biggest emerging countries in the world,” Wu said. “I believe it’s a very important opportunity for all students including domestic and international students to get to know this country.”