Americans typically spend their New Year’s Eve clinking champagne flutes and finding the right person to kiss at midnight, but the residents of Candlewood Apartments celebrated the Chinese New Year-also called Spring Festival-with their own traditions.
Sunday morning beginning at 7 a.m., students, professors and community members gathered to watch the traditional Chinese New Year television show broadcast by CCTV in China, which included acrobats, magic tricks, performances and traditional, colorful dress.
Candlewood resident and husband of Miami University graduate student Daniel Sun downloaded the show online and played it in the Candlewood Clubhouse. The event lasted until 1 p.m., with the new lunar year beginning at 11 a.m.
“Everyone watches this in China,” he said. “More than 90 percent of the people watch this show. It is very famous.”
Sun wanted to bring this tradition to Oxford to help Chinese students and faculty who are away from their families during the festival.
“It is a traditional thing-everyone watches this,” Sun said. “Family members sit together and talk about the New Year.”
Resident and Miami senior Han Qing dressed in a traditional 19th century Chinese business attire to celebrate the New Year.
“This is a very good Chinese tradition,” Qing said “There is something we shouldn’t lose. It is something we should keep up.”
China One provided traditional Chinese food after the students had time to call home and wish their families a happy new year.
The new year’s event was funded by program fees for Harmony Way, which provides education, social events and any other funding need that may arise-such as bringing in someone to educate international residents of Candlewood about filing tax forms. Candlewood owners and mangers, Bud and Suzanne Kostic started Harmony Way more than a year ago when Miami Manor, a program for graduated students from overseas, chose to dissolve.
“We want to help people who are coming from around the world to be acclimated to Oxford and the U.S.,” Bud said. “We’d like the inverse to happen to and expose the university and local community to some different cultures.”
The Kostics wanted to celebrate the Chinese New Year because of its significance to the Chinese culture and the opportunity to bring people together to learn from each other’s traditions.
“We honestly believe the way we get world peace is person to person,” Bud said.
Resident and graduate student Yamei Liu said it was important for her to attend the event because if she were home in China, she would be watching it with her family.
“If we don’t have a big gala to watch, it’s like it’s not New Year’s,” Liu said.
City council member Doug Ross also attended the event and said people en joy getting together, eating and talking with each other.
“It’s New Year’s Day … how can you not come?” Ross said.