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Credit: IQRemix , Courtesy of IQRemix/Creative Commons

While most Penn students rang in the new year on Jan. 1, last night a number of students waited for the clock to strike midnight and for the Lunar New Year to begin.

Though many consider the holiday the Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year is also celebrated by the Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese cultures. Similar to the Gregorian New Year celebrated on Jan. 1, the Lunar New Year is a holiday of thankfulness and good wishes for the upcoming year. On a holiday traditionally spent with family — with firecrackers, fish and red envelopes —Penn students who celebrate the Lunar New Year have found new ways to mark the day.

Last year, College sophomore Danielle Pi’s parents flew in from China to have a family dinner with her and her sister. But not this year.

“This year, my parents aren’t really feeling the whole flying-across-the-world thing so I’ll probably just Skype in while they’re having their big Chinese New Year dinner with my extended family,” Pi said.

College junior Kristen Kelly said she cooks for her friends to try to recreate the tradition of having a family dinner.

“I tend to do a lot of Chinese cooking around the week of the New Year,” Kelly said. “I guess I start to feel nostalgic, or maybe a little guilty for not cooking more often.”

Some clubs on campus offer small dinners to mark the new year. Both the Chinese Student Association and the Pan-Asian American Community House hold intimate gatherings. Tomorrow, the Wharton China Association will hold a festive dinner with a dumpling eating competition and traditional red envelopes.

The Asian Pacific Student Coalition, however, has found a less traditional way to celebrate. They will be holding a concert at the Penn Museum tonight, featuring Asian-American rappers Dumbfoundead and Awkwafina.

Regardless of how those who celebrate the Lunar New Year chose to spend the day, they will all have their families in mind.

“This is a holiday I will associate with spending time with my family,” said Wharton and College freshman Emily Zhen.

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