Event scheduled for 6:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, January 31st

One of the most important celebrations in the Asian community is once again coming to the Marietta College campus.

Students, employees and the Marietta community are invited to celebrate the Year of the Rat during the annual Lunar New Year celebration from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, January 31st in The Gathering Place. Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the first day of the Lunar calendar. It the most important holiday in many Asian communities and arguably the most widely celebrated holiday in the world. The rat is the first sign of the 12-year Chinese Zodiac calendar.

The free event, which typically draws hundreds of guests, is organized by Marietta College’s Asian Studies Department and Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“Lunar New Year is a wonderful tradition that originated from Marietta College’s mentor family program,” said Marisa Menier, an intern with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and Education Abroad. “What once was a small gathering of mentor families connecting with their Marietta student’s home culture has grown to one of the largest events on campus. Lunar New Year still honors the College’s ties to China, but also has become a point of contact for community members who have adopted children from China, or who are otherwise interested in Chinese culture to connect to this international celebration.”

This year’s celebration will feature free food, an international fashion show, vocal and dance performances from local school children and Marietta College student organizations, and even a special Lion Dance from the World Champion of Martial Arts in the U.S., Sen Gao. Guests will automatically be entered into a drawing to win prizes. Other activities will include a hacky sack challenge, Chinese paper cutting and origami making station, and a photo booth.

Located in Marietta, Ohio, at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, Marietta College is a four-year liberal arts college. Tracing its roots to the Muskingum Academy back in 1797, the College was officially chartered in 1835. Today Marietta College serves a body of 1,200 full-time students. The College offers more than 50 majors and is consistently ranked as one of the top regional comprehensive colleges by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, as well as one of the nation’s best by Forbes.com. Marietta was selected seventh in the nation according to the Brookings Institution’s rankings of colleges by their highest value-added, regardless of major. Marietta College has also been named a Great College to Work For two consecutive years (2018 and 2019).