Last year's Chinese New Year Celebration featured Lion Dancing as well. Credit: Randall Xie / Courtesy

Cal Poly’s Chinese Student Association (CSA) will be holding its 65th annual Chinese New Year Banquet at the Chumash Auditorium this Saturday. This event has been a tradition on campus, open for both Cal Poly students and local community members to attend.

This year, the Chinese New Year Banquet will be heavily influenced by the Year of the Rabbit, which is the luckiest animal in Chinese culture. Since it is 2023, the celebration of the water rabbit will be incorporated into the event.

CSA president and business administration junior Randall Xie said that attendees will be able to engage in cultural activities like Shuttlecock, a traditional Chinese national sport, a Wishing Tree, otherwise known as a money tree and the gifting of Red Envelopes, which are envelopes containing gifts given out during special occasions, along with arts like Calligraphy Painting.

In addition to activities, the Lion Dance Team and Take Out Kidz dance group will both be performing. Members of the Chinese Student Association will also be putting on a play. 

Local band 9Hearts, will be performing two new covers: “Every Summertime” by Niki and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.

9Hearts lead singer and plant science major sophomore Annica Wu said the band was looking for an upbeat, funky song to cover, and “Every Summertime” is also a sung by a prominent Asian artist — an important consideration for the banquet.

“The audience can expect to be excited since the songs are very upbeat and fun. Hopefully, people will be dancing and having a good time,” Wu said.

Last year, food was not served due to COVID-19 restrictions, so the event was instead referred to as the Chinese New Year Celebration. This year though, the banquet has readopted its original name and there will be food provided for attendees from Golden Gong, a local Chinese restaurant in San Luis Obispo.

The planner of the banquet, business junior Faith Vang, said this event is particularly important for Cal Poly, a predominately white institution.

“We would like to promote culture since Cal Poly is known for having the least diversity amongst the other CSUs and to provide our students with opportunities to learn and celebrate the Chinese New Year,” Vang said.

SLO residents are encouraged to partake in the Chinese New Year Banquet as a way to learn more about Chinese culture. Xie said that he is grateful for those that are working to make this opportunity possible.

The Chinese Student Association is the biggest cultural club at Cal Poly, with 500 to 700 members. The club holds general meetings every Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. on campus in Building 180, Room 114.

Tickets for adults are $16 and tickets for children under twelve are $13. More information can be found on the Chinese Student Association’s website.