NEWS: Lunar New Year Festival celebration at UC Office of the President

Lunar New Year celebrations at UC Office of the President

By Anna Chan. The Asian Pacific Islanders Staff Association (APISA) at the UC Office of the President hosted a Lunar New Year celebration recently in Oakland, California. 

Lunar New Year is a two-week festival that is widely celebrated across the world under different names. In China (Chūnjié), Vietnam (Tết), South Korea (Seollal), Lao (Boun Pi Mai) and many other countries around the world, it is the largest national holiday of the year. For those who celebrate Lunar New Year, this year is the Year of the Dragon. The celebration lasts about 15 days, starting on the eve of the new moon and ending on the night of the full moon.

UC Berkeley Vietnamese Student Association performs for the Asian Pacific Islander Staff Association at UC Office of the President

The exciting event at UC Office of the President drew almost two hundred attendees who enjoyed delicious Asian cuisine catered by a well-known local restaurant, Tao Yuen. Notable dishes included a fragrant salt and pepper tofu, and a wonderfully crispy, seasoned fried chicken, along with a “lucky” dessert tray.

In addition to the amazing food, attendees participated in activities highlighting Lunar New Year traditions. This included a Iu-Mien lucky red egg table where attendees could hand-make netted threads for red eggs to be worn around the neck. It is a popular tradition for Iu-Mien people to hand out eggs to friends and family to bring good luck and fortune for the new year. There was also a Chinese calligraphy table where attendees were able to practice and write the Chinese character for happiness and good fortune, setting the tone for the entire year to come! 

The highlight of the event was the lion dance performance given by the UC Berkeley Vietnamese Student Association. This talented group gave a fantastic performance that captivated the audience from start to finish. It was a truly splendid way to celebrate the new year. Watch a recording of the performance here

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Lunar New Year celebration and made it a roaring success. Looking forward to seeing you at the next APISA event! 

Happy Lunar New Year 新年快樂!

Event Planning Committee

  1. Anna Chan– Accounts Payable Analyst, Business Resource Center
  2. Brenda Perez– Purchase Order and Payments Analyst, Business Resource Center
  3. MJ Saechao– Accounts Payable Analyst, Business Resource Center
  4. Mey Saechao-Accounts Payable Analyst, Business Resource Center
  5. Tony Yang– Program Policy Analyst, UC Health
  6. Alex Santos-Senior Event Planner, Event Services
Red and blue lion dancers with a women posing between them - lots of festive red colors.
Guest takes picture with UC Berkeley Vietnamese Student Association lion dancers
People writing calligraphy and smiling
Traditional calligraphy is a staple of the lunar new year. In this picture, staff are learning to write the character for “happiness,” an important symbol of optimism that is emphasized during the 2-week celebration. 
Someone writing a charcter with brush and ink
Starting the character for “Happiness”
Picture of a person smiling and wearing a red egg necklace
Lunar new year celebration guest with wearing a traditional Iu-Mien lucky red egg
Photo of Chinese foods
Delicious treats, including the important long-life noodle dish, was catered by Tao Yuen, in Oakland, California.
Smiling group of Lu-Mien red egg makers
Team of lu-Mien egg makers
Two people preparing red eggs for the guest by weaving pieces of yarn
Making the red-egg necklaces (note the blue and gold color theme).
Lion dancing and people reaching into his mouth
Feeding the lion dancers lucky envelopes, citrus or lettuce is another part of the celebration
Group photo of the planning committee taking a selfie
Event planners taking a “traditional” lunar new year selfie.

About Asian Pacific Islander Staff Association (APISA) at UC Office of the President

APISA Mission Statement

APISA promotes and enhances the well-being of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander staff, faculty, and students through active participation and representation at the UC Office of the President and the community at large. APISA sponsors activities that foster inclusivity, understanding, and community building about Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

APISA History

APISA Started in 2013 as an affinity group and held UC Office of the President events to promote camaraderie and better understanding of Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. As an Employee Resource Group (ERG), APISA is becoming a greater advocate for UC employees to promote its values and goals.

APISA Contacts

  1. Tony Yang, vice-chair
  2. Sujit Thapa, vice-chair
  3. Barbara Hui, treasurer
  4. Melvin Tangonan, secretary

Learn more about APISA at the UC Office of the President here


Anna Chan
Accounts Payable Analyst
UC Office of the President