Winter Quarter, that 10-week period of gray skies, cold weather and seemingly endless midterms. In the midst of the drudgery, students still found ways to relax, have fun and broaden their horizons as they celebrated a variety of holidays, identities and traditions. Here are just a few of the colorful events that lit up Winter Quarter at Northwestern.
Swahili for "pull together," Harambee kicked off Black History Month on Northwestern's campus Jan. 27 with a celebration of cultural elements of the African diaspora. "It's really to celebrate, affirm and make visible the different communities that fall within the African diaspora, both here on campus and throughout the nation," said Heather Browning, assistant director for Multicultural Student Affairs and one of the event's organizers. For Members Only and Multicultural Student Affairs collaborated to put the celebration together.
The Polish-American Student Alliance hosted its annual Polish Culture Night on Feb. 10. Students and community members interested in learning more about Polish culture filled the Wildcat room in Norris. PASA served traditional Polish food such as pierogi and kolaczki while Lajkonik, a song and dance ensemble, performed several regional and national Polish dances. Throughout the evening, Lajkonik and members of PASA taught the audience how to say key phrases in Polish, the meaning of different costumes and how dance is practiced in different regions of Poland.
A collaboration between CSA and TASC, Celebrasia brought performers to Tech auditorium Feb. 18 to celebrate the Lunar New Year, marking the incoming Year of the Rooster. The sold-out event featured national sensations such as Quest Crew and KRNFX along with student groups like the Treblemakers and Refresh Dance Crew. Community members, alumni and students alike attended the event.
In the Jewish faith, Shabbat, a day of rest and reflection, lasts from sundown on Friday night to sundown Saturday sundown. Northwestern Hillel invited all Northwestern community members to celebrate the weekly tradition with a big Shabbat dinner in Norris on Feb. 17. More than 400 participants enjoy the dinner every year.
Paczki Eating Contest
Just in time for Mardi Gras, Bennison’s Bakery in downtown Evanston hosted its eighth annual paczki eating contest Feb. 25. Spectators stood in a crowd three to four people deep to catch a glimpse of contestants scrambling to eat as many paczki as they could in five minutes. Paczki are a Polish treat made of fried dough, filled with jellies or custard and glazed. They are traditionally made for Mardi Gras, shortly before the beginning of Lent.
Bennison’s employees passed out hot chocolate to spectators and served the stream of hungry customers inside the shop. This year, the bakery hosted 10 teams of two contestants. Each contestant won a $25 gift card to Bennison’s and the winning team took the grand prize of a $200 gift card.