Confucius Institute to hold annual Chinese New Year celebration

January 22, 2015
Chinese New Year Festival
Chinese New Year

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. —The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Confucius Institute will hold its seventh annual Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday, Feb. 1 in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall, UW-Platteville, from 1-3 p.m. The event is open to everyone. Cost is $5 per person; 5 years and under are free.

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 Sheep begins Feb. 19.

“The Spring Festival is a start for a new year, and it’s the grandest festival for all Chinese around the world,” said Mei Reeder, director of the Confucius Institute. “This holiday is just like Christmas to the western culture, a holiday for family reunion. The event helps promote a better understanding of Chinese culture, language and its people to the residents in Southwest Wisconsin. This year, we will have a variety of shows, craft stations, martial art demonstrations, songs by school students and a special handing out of red envelopes to young audience members because we want to make sure this is a family friendly event that is suitable for all ages.”

At the event, Confucius Institute staff, instructors, student assistants and volunteers will host activity stations on martial arts, face painting (new this year), calligraphy, couplets and souvenirs. There will also be on-stage performances, including lion dances and martial arts by Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association, a martial arts school in Madison, Wis.; a guzheng (traditional Chinese zither musical instrument) performance by Emay, a zither instructor based in Madison; children’s songs; a Dai and Uighur nationality dance and a Yangko dance by Living Spring Dance Company in Madison, led by Xu Ying, a folk dance instructor at UW-Madison; a Taiji performance by Confucius Institute instructors; as well as songs and dances by American high school and college students together with the Chinese Master of English Education cohort students. 

Tickets are on sale at tickets.uwplatt.edu/public/ or call 608-342-1298 or toll free at 877-727-1CFA.

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. It 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.

As UW-Platteville pursues its vision of being recognized as the leading student-focused university for its success in achieving excellence, creating opportunities, and empowering each individual, it is guided by four strategic planning priorities. The Chinese New Year celebration aligns with three of the priorities, including providing an outstanding education, fostering a community of achievement and respect and enriching the tri-state region. 

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

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