For the Asian international student community, the Lunar New Year, which began on Feb. 12,  looked different this year.

The day, which marks the beginning of a year in the traditional calendar used in East Asian countries such as China, Korea and Vietnam, is meant to be a time of family reunion.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are studying remotely in their home country for the winter quarter and celebrated the festival with family — for the first time since their studies began in the United States. For those who remain in the U.S., the new year appeared less eventful than usual, with friends returning home and the absence of celebrational events hosted by student organizations.

As the new year’s day took place during midterms week, the festival was a mix of coursework and celebrations. Some students who had midterm exams on the morning of Feb. 11 California time reportedly began their exams soon after having family dinner in a timezone 16 hours ahead.

Over the past week, the Nexus collected photos documenting what the Lunar New Year looked like for international students, from unexpected reunions caused by the pandemic to all-nighters before exams.

A version of this article appeared on p.6 of the February 25, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.



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