Performers celebrate Asian New Year at UIW.

Asian New Year, one of UIW’s most popular events, celebrated the “Year of the Rabbit” on Feb. 2 with food, music, performances and a traditional lion dance.

Marian Hall Ballroom was packed with guests sampling time-honored Asian cuisine and listening to Asian music. Dancers and drummers performed traditional routines. The highlight of the celebration was a traditional lion dance performed by UIW’s Lion Dance Team. Four students donned lion costumes for the cultural presentation. Games, henna tattoos, costume photography, calligraphy practice and a traditional tea ceremony rounded out the event.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Golden Rabbit begins Feb. 3, 2011, and ends Jan. 22, 2012. The Rabbit is considered a lucky sign. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are good teachers, counselors and communicators, but also need their own space.

The UIW Institute of World Cultures sponsors the university’s Asian New Year celebration each year to provide a feeling of home to the diverse Asian population attending the university while showcasing Asian culture for the local community.