Confucius Institute to hold sixth annual Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 2

January 23, 2014

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Chinese New Year celebration

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Confucius Institute will hold its sixth annual Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall, UW-Platteville, from 1-3 p.m.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It is a time to gather with family members and look forward to the returning spring, anticipating a prosperous and happy new year. According to the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Horse begins on Jan. 31.

At the event, Confucius Institute staff, instructors, student assistants and volunteers will host activity stations for an array of activities such as calligraphy, paper cutting, paper folding (origami), food sampling and simple instruction of tai chi (martial art) and guzheng (a traditional zither instrument). There will also be on-stage performances, including a lion and dragon dance, folk dance, martial arts and songs accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments.

“We hope members of the university community as well as members of the Platteville and surrounding communities join us in celebrating this very important holiday in the Chinese culture,” said Mei Reeder, director of the Confucius Institute. “The tradition of this holiday was to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family from near and afar together for feasting. We think it is important to bring this unique holiday tradition to the residents of the tri-state area so they get a taste of a Chinese cultural holiday that has been embedded in the United States since the early 19th century.” 

“The activities will be fun, traditional and educational,” said Tricia Reuter, office manager of the Confucius Institute. “In addition to the activities, I think audience members will especially enjoy the performances of the Enchanted Roots Dance and the yangge and Mongolian dances by the Living Spring Dance Company as well as the traditional Chinese songs sung by the English education graduate students from South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China.”

Tickets are available at tickets.uwplatt.edu/public/ or call (608) 342-1298 or toll free at (877) 727-1CFA. Cost is $5 per person. Children five years old and under are free. UW-Platteville students may use their meal card to purchase tickets through the University Box Office.

The Confucius Institute is part of an international network of more than 1,060 Confucius Institutes and classrooms dedicated to enhancing the understanding of Chinese language and culture. The institute provides credit and non-credit courses in Mandarin through the UW-Platteville humanities department’s foreign language program, folk art workshops, and free, on-campus lectures about cultural topics.

The Confucius Institute serves the citizens of Wisconsin through outreach activities, including classes for community members of all ages, seminars for educators and training for businesses across the state.

Contact: Mei Reeder, director, Confucius Institute, (608) 342-6014, reedery@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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