Have you ever wondered where the tradition of Chinese New Year comes from?
The Chinese New Year tradition all began with a mythical beast called the Nian. Villagers would congregate to protect each other because they were afraid the Nian would eat them. It was also believed that offering plenty of food would ward off the Nian’s attacks, since it would gobble up the food instead.
This is why everyone wants to go home for the New Year, and plenty of food has to be presented for the occasion.
My son left Canada this year to visit his in-laws’ family in China, gathering plenty of people to fight against the Nian. To make sure I could ward off the Nian here too I approached Andrew Ness, Director of International Services at Sheridan, and proposed a Chinese New Year event for international students from China at Sheridan.
With the support of the International office, the cafeteria at Trafalgar Campus welcomed a full house of students on February 7 for the celebration with dumplings, a buffet, snacks, candies, fruits, and hongbao (a red envelope with money in it). The noise and laughter were so laud that the Nian would not have wanted to be anywhere near it.
The food was plentiful and delicious, and the TV set gave students an opportunity to join the New Year countdown in China. Many students contacted their families through Wechat, and I was able to wish several parents a happy New Year when they were online with their kids. Their joy and laughter made me so proud to be a part of Sheridan, and their appreciation and trust motivates me to work harder than ever for their kids’ success.
Their joy and laughter made me so proud to be a part of Sheridan, and their appreciation and trust motivates me to work harder than ever for their kids’ success” – Yan Wu
President and Vice Chancellor Jeff Zabudsky made a video greeting for the event which was played after the New Year countdown. The room was very quiet when he was on the screen, as he greeted everyone in Mandarin. He switched back to English for the rest of the announcement and there was a big round of applause when he finished.
I Skyped my mom in the middle of the event so that she could witness the display of food, the large crowd of people and the cheerfulness of the attendees. My son also called, but it was too noisy to hear him! The legend of Nian was over at Sheridan, and I am fully prepared for a successful year ahead!
Pictured at top of page: Sheridan students socializing at the Chinese New Year celebration at Trafalgar Campus
Written by: Yan Wu, Manager of International Business Development and Partnerships at Sheridan.