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Celebrating the Lunar New Year Aboard the MV Explorer

A group of students from different regions of East Asia recently presented how they celebrate the Lunar New Year while back at home. Although they will not be with their families on the first day of the holiday, they still managed to bring their cultural heritage to the shipboard community.

Prior to their presentation, the group spent an afternoon transforming the 5th floor dining hall into a spectacle of color and East Asian iconography. The ceiling was decorated with hanging red lanterns. Chinese character cut outs were hung on string from wall to wall. Piles of  bright orange tangerines were on tables all throughout the room. Everyone enjoyed this unique dining experience.

Click below and listen to where the students come from, their annual family traditions, and what they enjoy most about celebrating the Lunar New Year.

“Momo” Qingruo Zhao from Shanghai Finance University

Momo, shares her family traditions, the mythology of fireworks and why you should never tell someone they look like a Door God.

“Wendy” Wai Han Tang from Hong Kong Baptist University

Wendy tells us about her family’s flower decorations, her love of hóngbāo (red envelopes) and her new Semester at Sea family.

Yu Gong from Zhejiang University

Yu Gong explains what his family watches on the Lunar New Year’s eve, what they eat and why he should be wearing something red this year.

Dawei Huang from Fudan University

Dawei’s speaks of how he pays tribute to his ancestors, what his top three priorities are and the secret ingredient in his family’s dumplings.

Thuan Hang Vuong from University of Oregon

Despite growing up in the United States, Thuan and her family still keep their Vietnamese traditions alive by eating special foods, exchanging red envelopes and preparing their home for the New Year.

To close the night, the Student Life Program Coordinator Hai-Yin Gong taught the audience a special Lunar New Year song:

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