Qiyang Zhang, Chinese Students and Scholars Association adviser and professor of physical sciences, demonstrates how to make a paper lantern on Sunday in Preston Family Room. The Lantern Festival is a Chinese traditional festival to celebrate family reunion.

On Sunday the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) held a lantern festival in the Preston family room of the Memorial Union from 1:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

“It’s actually part of the new year festival,” said Qiyang Zhang, advisor of CSSA and professor of physical science. “Most Asian countries’ new year won’t just be one day, they have a really long period of time, and during that time we have the new year eve, new year day and then, on the 15th of the new year is definitely the lantern festival.” 

The event had food catered from the Memorial Union dining services since, aside from the international food festival held on campus at a different point in the semester, it is against policy to bring outside food to the event, according to Zhang.

“We definitely want to have very traditional food however the policy is very different here, we cannot bring our own food to any buildings on campus,” Zhang said. “Next year we’ll try to talk to them, tell them the recipe, so maybe they can make some international food as well. 

Those attending also had the chance to do karaoke with songs from multiple languages, as well as make their own paper lanterns with construction paper provided at the event.

“In China we always came together to sing songs,” said Xi Xi Li, graduate business administration student. “Here we don’t have so many opportunities that are local and in town.”

The group decided to schedule the event on a different date than the actual lantern festival, so students would have more time to prepare and enjoy themselves at the festival according to Zhang.

“I’m originally from China and this is kind of like a gathering together for the festival,” said Nana Cai, assistant director of International Student Services. “I kind of wanted to be with some people who are from the same country, and to talk with all those students.”

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