Traditional dragon dancing, distinctive culinary delights, martial arts demonstrations and spectacular fireworks are just some of the colourful festivities planned to welcome in the Year of the Rooster at the University of Exeter.
More than 2,500 local residents, staff and students are expected to attend this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations on Saturday 11 February at the University’s Streatham Campus.
Organised by the Chinese Student Scholars Association (CSSA) and supported by the University, the Student’s Guild and Streetwise Fund, the event promises to be an impressive festival, planned with students and families in mind.
Yiting Li, a third year BSc Mathematics student, and member of the CSSA said: “Chinese New Year is traditionally a time to spend with families, so it can be difficult being so far away from home. It means a lot to have such a big celebration here in Exeter. It is the holiday I most look forward to, and it makes me feel at home.
“I have participated in the celebrations for the past two years and I can’t wait for this year’s. It’s a great opportunity to introduce our culture to local people and the whole day is a wonderful experience.”
The celebrations will kick off at 1pm when traditional dragon and lion dancers will make their way through the city, starting at Buffet City in George Street before moving to Bedford Square, Princesshay. Following what promises to be a stunning performance, the parade will continue along the High Street and Gandy Street towards the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The dancing finale will take place on the Great Hall Piazza, at the Streatham Campus.
Stalls illustrating Chinese traditions and crafts, delicious Chinese cuisine, martial arts demonstrations and performances will also be taking place in the Forum. To mark the end of the celebrations, there will be a spectacular firework display at the XFI Building at 6:15pm.
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor for the University of Exeter said: “Chinese New Year has become an important, special, date for the University calendar and the family-friendly celebrations are a fantastic opportunity to welcome local people to the University. At Exeter we are committed to offering an international experience and it is a real pleasure to celebrate this important festival on our campus.”
Chinese New Year has a rich, long, history spanning back thousands of years. In China it is known as the “Spring Festival” because it marks the end of the winter season and this year festivities will welcome in the dawn of the Year of the Rooster.
Yuchen Zhu, a BSc Mathematics and Economics student and member of the CSSA said: “It will be great to get the community involved and learning more about this important time of year for China. It’s a fantastic chance to get together and share our culture with local people”
“In China we like to make and eat dumplings together and watch the New Year’s gala on TV. It features singing, dancing, and general entertainment, it’s a bit like the Royal Variety Performance or the Annual New Years Hootenanny shown in Britain.”
For more information on this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations, visit the website.
(from a press release)