The Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville welcomes all to a free virtual Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 6, 2021, at 1 p.m. The program consists of various performances offered in collaboration with Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton, San Diego Confucius Institute, and South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China. Performances include dances, songs, martial arts performances, yo-yo playing, musical instruments and Peking Opera.
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year 中国新年( zhōngguó xīn nián) or Spring Festival 春节(Chūn Jié), is China's most important festival. It celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally occur from New Year's Eve until the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. In 2021, the Year of the Ox, the first day of the Chinese New Year will be Friday, Feb. 12. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal because of its role in agriculture and its positive characteristics, such as being hard-working and honest.
The festival originates from the story of the Nian Monster in ancient China. According to legend, once every year a monstrous creature named Nian would come out of the forest at night and devour entire villages. Efforts to protect against Nian during New Year's Eve transformed into the Spring Festival celebration.
Typical Chinese New Year activities include:
- Eating a reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve. The dishes, such as dumplings 饺子 (jiǎo zi), and spring rolls 春卷 (chūn juǎn) are created to give blessings for the next year.
- Putting up decorations representing happiness and good fortunes, such as Spring Festival Couplets, Paper Cutting Arts, and Door Gods.
- Setting off firecrackers and fireworks to drive away evil spirits.
- Giving red pockets 红包 (hóng bāo) with lucky money to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings.
To view a live stream of the event, visit the Facebook page at Facebook.com/UWPlattevilleConfuciusInstitute. For more information about the celebration or to request disability accommodations, contact Confucius Institute at 608-342-1310 or email@example.com.