As the Year of the Monkey comes to a close, the Year of the Rooster is set to dawn at the ninth annual Lunar New Year gala hosted by the Chinese Studies program from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 27.
Authentic Lunar New Year food and cultural performances will highlight the gala, which is free and open to the public and scheduled for Room 120 of the Lincoln Park student center. Online reservations are required for attendance. Interested individuals can RSVP here.
"The Lunar New Year is not only celebrated by Chinese people, but by many people around the world," says Li Jin, an associate professor and director of DePaul's Chinese Studies program. "Some of our hopes with this gala are to connect members of the community through a shared interest, build a connection between DePaul and the city of Chicago, and showcase DePaul as an international university."
More than 1,100 Asian students enrolled at DePaul during the 2016 fall semester, with more than 700 coming to Chicago from China.
This year's gala provides an immersive experience with performances and interactive opportunities to honor Chinese New Year traditions. Traditional and modern performances by DePaul students and guests from the Chicago community are just some of the activities scheduled for the night.
This year's highlights include music collaborations between DePaul students enrolled in Chinese language classes and international students from China. There will also be a traditional xiangsheng, or Chinese cross-talk, between professional Chinese performers and DePaul students who are taking advanced-level Chinese language classes. All performances are bilingual. The gala will also include a traditional lion dance.
Guests will be able to try their hand at the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy under the guidance of calligraphy artists, participate in Chinese fortunetelling and papercutting, and view the Art Institute of Chicago mini-tour of Chinese arts. They also will have an opportunity to participate in games for commemorative souvenirs.
The Year of the Rooster is the 10th animal in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle and follows the Year of the Monkey. The year 2017 is specifically a fire rooster year, according to Chinese element theory. A fire rooster year comes around once every 60 years.
"Individuals born in the Year of the Rooster are considered loyal, punctual and charming," Jin says. "Those born specifically in a fire rooster year are said to have minds that are more willing to take a risk or be quick tempered. Unfortunately for individuals born in the Year of the Rooster, the year of one's birth animal is considered the unluckiest during the 12-year cycle. Roosters should be more careful and practical in 2017."
To offset some of that unluckiness, however, attendees to the gala who were born during the rooster lunar year can present a photo ID for an opportunity to win a Year of the Rooster gift.
DePaul's Chinese Studies program is playing host to the gala with sponsorships from DePaul's Activities Board, Chinese Studies Association, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Department of Modern Languages, Driehaus Center for International Business, Global Asian Studies, Office of Global Engagement, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, and the Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning & Community Service Studies.