With the events of the New Year behind us, students return to the realities of studying and working hard.
But, here at Mercyhurst, we are still ecstatic about the turn of a new decade, the 2020s. In light of the New Year, the Mercyhurst MAC/SAC team hosted two pivotal events to kick off the new semester, a 1920s themed bash followed by a Lunar New Year celebration.
Following the stress of the second week, MAC/SAC hosted this series of celebrations in the student union.
On Jan. 24, students turned out for the 1920s Gatbsy event featuring iconic decor in black and gold, strings of pearls and a photo booth with an array of boas.
However, the outstanding piece of this event was the layout of ’20’s themed cookies from Erie’s own Icing on the Lake. The cookies were a curved dough slathered in white icing with an icing outline of a champagne glass, edible glitter and sprinkles complimenting this delicious delicacy.
Freshman Sarah Sebald was among those in attendance who enjoyed the event.
“This event helped me to remember why I love this campus so much, as someone who loves the history of the 1920s, I almost felt transported into Gatsby-like age,” she said. “I had a blast.”
Overall, the ’20s themed celebration took us back in time to a place we only dreamed of living in. Luckily, we were given a taste of all that jazz right here behind our very own gates.
MAC/SAC team programmer Katy Vaccariello agreed.
“I was extremely excited to bring forward an event that was Gatsby theme,” she said. “I have always loved the concept of the Roaring 20s, and as a fashion major the clothing from the 20s was a major draw. I was super excited to see what students would do in order to meet the theme. So many students dressed to the max making the event so much better.”
Following the evening of glamour, the MAC/SAC staff put together a Lunar New Year event to ring in the Year of the Rat.
The Chinese New Year is a little different than the American New Year celebration. The Chinese New Year falls a little after our own and always defines each year by the values a certain animal represents.
This year, the Lunar New Year — also referred to as The Spring Festival — fell on Jan. 25 and this year we honor the rat.
The Year of the Rat refers to a variety of symbolic meanings and fortunes as to what’s in store for this year.
According to Newsweek, “the zodiacal Rat is laden with multiple layers of symbolism. Associated with the hour before and after midnight, the rat typically represents new beginnings. They are powerful symbols of fertility, wealth and plenty, so people born in the Year of the Rat are considered to be optimistic, easy-going and kind, if a bit too direct.”
The Lunar New Year event saw a solid turnout. Students were welcomed into the Student Union by lanterns and Lunar New Year-themed decor all around the room. Students were invited to test out their calligraphy skills and spell out Chinese symbols for different words like “love” and “happiness.”
“I loved this event,” freshman Fashion Merchandising major, Natalie Yurasits said. “I love the way the MAC/SAC crew puts on events like this one because it helps us to recognize and understand other cultures and from that, I was able to learn about the culture of the holiday and how to write some Chinese symbols.”
The MAC/SAC staff also provided traditional delicacies like oranges and potstickers as well as Lunar New Year-themed fans and coins for students to take with them.
Culture is spread throughout the campus, and with the help of events like the ones from this past weekend, that culture is further enhanced.
Both the 1920s event and the Lunar New Year celebration helped students learn more about these cultures and themes connect tradition and celebration and how they affect our lives today.
MAC/SAC has plans to put on more events this semester that will promote other cultures and traditions in the near future.