After having to cancel last year’s celebration, the Chun Jie or Spring Festival is back at TRU. The online event took place on Jan. 29 and celebrated the start of the Water Tiger year.
Haonan Deng from the Department of Entertainment spoke of the meaning behind this festival; “Watching the Spring Festival Gala show has been a tradition of Chinese people for many years. Family members return to where they were born and raised to reunite with their parents to spend the night together,” Deng said.
“Spring Festival Gala was initially introduced by China Central Television and is the most-watched entertainment show globally, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records,” Deng added.
While the beginning of the year is Feb. 1, TRU decided to celebrate it on Saturday, Jan 29 so students could have more free time and enjoy the celebration with their friends and family.
The event has seen some changes due to COVID-19. Usually, the Chinese Students and Scholars’ Association (TRUCSSA) welcomed over 200 attendees; “This year, we are bringing the spring festival gala back to TRU, in a virtual way that is both entertaining for students and safe to celebrate together with us from their homes,” explained Deng.
“After some debate, we decided to do it virtually, but not just a normal virtual event. We put real effort into making this virtual event, a well-organized, well-coordinated, and well-thought-out event,” said Deng.
Organizing this event came with some challenges for the planning team.
“The preparation of the spring festival gala started in October of 2021. Costumes needed to be ordered from another country; vocals had to be recorded; we created an entire symphony for one of our shows. There was a lot of work behind the scenes that our viewers do not get to see,” Deng said.
This year’s event has a total of 10 performances each pre-recorded. Since the Festival is traditionally celebrated in the evening, the performers and dancers had to record it at night.
“Those participating had to film during the winter semester break, with a temperature achieving negative 20 degrees on some days,” Deng said.
Even with the hardships, the organizers rely on the importance of creating and hosting such events.
“The Spring Festival Gala, and many other cultural events TRU students have planned, really make this campus a diverse and welcoming place. We get to learn each other’s culture, and through that, we appreciate each other’s culture more. And through these cultural bridges, hopefully, one day, we all live in a peaceful world,” Deng explained.
“The most rewarding thing about planning a spring festival gala is that you get to see all the talents at TRU. You get to know your classmates more. You get to see their other side out of the classroom. We also want to share a message, which is that the virtual event can be fun too,” Deng said.
The recorded event can be found on TRUCSSA’s YouTube page for any student interested in watching.