Leicester celebrates Chinese New Year

The University will be celebrating Chinese New Year, and the incoming year of the dog, with an array of activities and performances this Friday 16 February.

Chinese New Year marks the start of the lunar New Year. The dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac, symbolising loyalty and honesty. People born in this year are said to possess a faithful and friendly nature, with a strong sense of responsibility. Celebrities born in the year of the dog include Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Curry and Alec Baldwin.

The University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Boyle has also recorded a special Chinese New Year video, sending his best wishes to everyone in the University of Leicester, China and around the world celebrating Chinese New Year.

Professor Boyle said “It’s going to be an exciting year for all of us, I wish you and your family good fortune during the coming year.”

Watch the video here:

The day’s events will begin with a Lion Dance opening Performance by Traditional Wushu. Lion dance is a traditional form of dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries designed to bring good luck and fortune, and scare away any negativity.

Activities running throughout the day will include tai chi classes- a martial art that combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements, and a lantern making workshop. From 12.00pm - 6.00pm, students and staff will also be able to find out more about their individual Chinese zodiac sign, and write traditional well wish cards.

Lessons in Chinese calligraphy will be taking place, courtesy of the Languages at Leicester team. A movie marathon will run in the afternoon, with films voted for by students. Alongside these events, food stalls are also going to be set up on campus, offering a variety of sweet and savoury treats, including ice cream rolls from Sliced Ice.

In September 2017, the University of Leicester opened its new institute at the Dalian University of Technology, in China. The institute is a partnership between the University of Leicester and Dalian University of Technology, and now offers students dual degrees in STEM subjects.

Professor Jon Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, added: “We are really looking forward to celebrating Chinese New Year with our students and staff. We welcome students from a range of countries and that gives us a great opportunity to learn about and celebrate the diversity of the world that we live in. The range of events taking place throughout the day will give a great insight into Chinese culture and bring a taste of home to our Chinese students.”

Yuqing, an Economics and Accounting student at the University, said: “To me, Chinese New Year is the time to express my love to family and friends. I usually feel very homesick at this time of the year, but this year I feel really festive even though I am so far away from home as there are celebrations both on campus and in town. This year I will have a hotpot party with my international friends to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and of course I will take part in some activities on campus. Most importantly, I send my best wishes to my family and friends in China!”