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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

IFYA Lunar New Year Celebration

Interfaith Young Adults (IFYA) is a student-led organization focused on spreading education on various cultural and religious celebrations. According to the current president, Lilliana Delatte ‘26, the organization was started in Fall 2020 with the aim of building a community centered around inclusivity. 

On Feb. 8,, IFYA hosted a Lunar New Year celebration on the seal of Old Main. This celebration took place globally on Feb. 10 of this year.

The event involved teaching other students about red envelopes, a long-time tradition during the Lunar New Year, and having them make their own to give to a friend or loved one. 

“Usually they’re (red envelopes) filled with fresh printed money but we’re just doing little well wishes for the semester, ” Delatte said. “We (had) a rice cracker, some candy and a sticker for IFYA.” 

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Vice presidents of IFYA, Reid Jackson ‘26 and Ally Delaney ‘26, assisted students in packaging their red envelopes while handing out informational flyers about the new year. Some of the traditions mentioned on the flyer were freshly printed money given in red envelopes, a lantern festival with a parade, sweeping and decorating with the color red. 

“The traditions are supposed to be well wishes for the new year and a lot of stuff trying to get rid of the bad luck and bring in the good luck, which is why there’s a lot of red,” Delatte said. 

According to the zodiac Chinese New Year calendar, this year is the year of the Dragon. The Dragon is believed to have some of the most desirable characteristics, such as charisma and confidence. 

“This is the most popular year,” Delatte said. “A lot of people want to have children in the Year of the Dragon because it only has attractive qualities, so a lot of people try to get pregnant either before the Lunar New Year or during the Year of the Dragon.”

The IFYA also brought to light the misconception that the Lunar New Year is only celebrated in China. The Lunar New Year is celebrated worldwide. 

“A lot of people think it’s just Chinese Lunar New Year, but it’s celebrated in Vietnam, South Korea, all of Asia,” Delatte said. “I learned all of this when I went to Vietnam. We went right before Tết, which is what Vietnam calls the Lunar New Year.” 

IFYA has hosted several events in the past that are dedicated to cultural celebrations and practices such as the Lunar New Year. In doing so, they are shining a light on events that are celebrated by different backgrounds as a way of showing appreciation.

“It’s important that we create a space that’s welcoming to students of all backgrounds and faiths,” said Jackson.

The Lunar New Year Celebration was one of many such events that IFYA hosts throughout the semester. Be sure to follow their Instagram, @woffordifya, for updates on upcoming events. 

“IFYA gives students of different cultural backgrounds the opportunity to feel more at home with familiar traditions and celebrations of important events that may get overlooked at a small institution like Wofford,” said Jackson. “I think it really helps to bring different communities together and to help students become more knowledgeable of their peers’ traditions.”

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Madison Bush, Contributing Writer
Freshman from Fort Worth, TX
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