Around the world, people will gather this weekend to welcome the Year of the Dragon. The Notre Dame community has already begun its Lunar New Year celebrations and will continue to observe the holiday in the coming days. In 2024, the Lunar New Year Festival begins on February 10 and culminates with the Lantern Festival on February 24.
Lunar New Year, also known as the SpringFestival, is observed in many Asian countries starting with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ending 15 days later on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, which is traditionally marked with a Lantern Festival. Lanterns symbolize driving out darkness and bringing hope to the coming year.
Learn more about this globally recognized celebration with a helpful toolkit from the Asian Pacific Alumni of Notre Dame. You’ll find a brief history of Lunar New Year, fun facts, ways to celebrate, and recipes to try. You can also read reflections from Notre Dame Beijing and Notre Dame Hong Kong colleagues about the holiday.
Notre Dame faculty, staff and students will recognize Lunar New Year this weekend in a variety of ways, including:
February 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (905 Portage Avenue, South Bend): The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies is cosponsoring a family-friendly, inclusive Lunar New Year celebration at The Portage Collective, a group of local South Bend makers & small businesses in the Near Northwest Neighborhood.
February 10, 7 p.m. (Washington Hall): The Vietnamese Student Association will host its annual cultural show in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Tickets are sold for $5 at the LaFortune Student Center and at $7 at the door.
February 11 (Trafalgar Square, London): Students are invited to explore the London Chinese New Year Parade and Festival, which includes martial arts displays, traditional dances, Chinese pop performances, arts and crafts, street food, and fireworks.
Additional events were held preceding the holiday in an effort to bring the Asian community of Notre Dame together and share Lunar New Year traditions with others in the Notre Dame family.
At the CUPPA (Connection, Understanding, Perspectives, Play, and Accompaniment): South Korea event—sponsored by International Student and Scholar Affairs, the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, and the East Asian Languages and Cultures’ Korea program—attendees were invited to enjoy Korean tea and snack, and take part in Korean traditional quizzes and games. They also made traditional Korean paper lanterns. Lanterns are used in Lunar New Year celebrations to symbolize driving out darkness and bringing hope to the coming year.
The Asian Pacific Alumni Board, YoungND, the Native American Alumni of ND, the ND Club of Los Angeles, and the ND Club of Orange County hosted a virtual Lunar New Year event, “Year of the Dragon Trivia Throwdown.” Members of the Notre Dame Family from far and wide were encouraged to order their favorite Chinese food, relax, and join together for a night of Lunar New Year-themed trivia. Notre DAme alumnus and Asian Pacific Alumni Board Member Tricia Baumer '99, '01 M.Ed., '09 M.EdL., shared fun facts about the holiday.
Fore more about the holiday, please see the following resources: