SBU Eats Hosts Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year Celebration

Lunar New Year stands out as a tradition celebrated by millions of people from many different cultures and countries. Also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, this annual event marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and symbolizes renewal, reunion, a chance to start fresh and to share in the hope of good things to come. The Stony Brook University community will celebrate the Year of the Dragon at two spectacular SBU Eats dining events with delicious food, festive activities, student performances and a lion dance, a cherished cultural tradition symbolizing joy, prosperity and good fortune.

“The SBU Eats team is very excited about celebrating Lunar New Year because it brings everyone together for a cultural celebration with captivating entertainment. It’s an opportunity to highlight the diverse spectrum of Asian heritage and cultivate a respect for all cultures,” stated Angela Agnello, senior director of marketing and communications of the Faculty Student Association.

From dumplings and fish to noodles and sticky rice cakes, many dishes bring luck, prosperity and good fortune in the coming year. On February 12 at Jasmine in the Charles B. Wang Center, faculty, staff and students will enjoy a menu that includes rice cake soup, japchae, steamed dumplings, pork buns, lo mein noodles and Sichuan fish. 

Students worked with SBU Eats to plan the celebration to educate others about their cultures and traditions and to bring fun activities for all to enjoy. At Jasmine, the Origami Club will be teaching the campus community how to make origami dragons and zodiac animals. The 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar is represented by 12 different animals. Chinese tradition believes that those born in a year associated with an animal acquire the characteristics of that particular animal. The dragon symbolizes great power, good luck and strength, and the personality traits of people born in the year of the dragon are charismatic, intelligent, confident, powerful and naturally lucky and gifted. Resident assistants from Chávez and Tubman Hall will host a lantern-making table, the Kendo Club will demonstrate modern Japanese martial arts and simulated sword fights, and the Flow Club will perform with LED glow lights.

“Lunar New Year is a time for gratitude and strengthening familial bonds while bringing prosperity and good fortune into the New Year. I am excited that SBU Eats brought students together to organize the festivities to share and appreciate our traditions with the greater SBU community. I am especially grateful to have a piece of our culture and home here for students who cannot go home for this holiday,” stated Sara Poon ’25, biology major.

On February 15 at SAC Food Court, the Lunar New Year celebration will continue with a menu that includes black soy garlic braised chicken, cantonese-style pork belly, edamame dumplings, stir-fried festival rice, garlicky bok choy and fa gao (fortune cake) for dessert. Students will enjoy a bingo game at The Loft at SAC where they can win Lunar New Year themed lego prizes and dragons. The Kendo Club will be performing and resident assistants from Mount and Hendrix will be creating traditional decorations and demonstrating the art of paper cutting.

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