Brunel university rings in the Year of the Rat

The celebration of the Lunar New Year began early at Brunel University with a sold-out event.

A collaboration between the Chinese, Filipino, Korean, K-pop, Thai, Nepalese and many more societies took place to organise the event which sold out 250 tickets.

The event had live performances from singing to traditional dancing such as ‘Tinkling,’ which is a traditional Philippine folk dance that involves two people tapping and sliding bamboo poles on the ground with dancers who step over and in between the poles.

Photo credits: Stefanos Hadera

Julie Thuy Dang, the External Officer of Brunel ABACUS society, the Association of British and Chinese University Students said: “We brought a two-hour show of entertaining performances. All attendees also received a lucky bag of Asian snacks the event was successful selling out 250 tickets.”

An attendee of the event, Hanna Abu Bakar, 22, studying Journalism, said: “The event was very lively, and it was something else because there were different societies that came to support the event such as the Brunel Malaysian society.”

This year, the first day of Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, falls on Saturday 25th January. The festival is celebrated worldwide in regions and countries with significant Chinese populations, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and more.

There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals used to represent years and 2020 is the year of the Rat, last year marked the year of the Pig. People born in the year of the Rat like saving and collecting, they never have hard times financially and live organized lives.

Zodiac signs play a vital role in Chinese culture and is used to determine each individual fortune for the year, marriage, career, and much more.

Traditionally the festivities begin with a thorough cleaning of the home, putting up decorations, eating dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, firecrackers and fireworks and giving red envelopes and other gifts.

Isabel Park, 23, studying Life Sciences, said:” I am from Korea and Lunar New Year is about seeing family and spending time together.”

She adds that Korean people carry out the act of filial piety called ‘Sebae,’ where children bow to their elders and say something along the lines of, ‘Please have a lot of fortune for the New Year, ‘and are rewarded with money.

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