Chinese New Year Celebration

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The Confucius Institute at WMU hosted the 2015 Chinese New Year Gala on Feb. 11 at Wesley Foundation. Provost Timothy Greene and Dr. Molly Lynde-Recchia, chair of World Languages and Literatures were some of the attendees. Dr. Wolfgang Schlöer, associate provost and director of Confucius Institute at WMU gave the opening remarks for the gala followed by the traditional Lion dance opening. Participants enjoyed 13 performances about China and participated in three rounds of Chinese games.

Traditional dishes were served at the gala, with one being Chinese dumplings, a dish that is usually served at family annual reunion dinner in China. Other traditional dishes served were spicy chicken, Mongolian beef, zucchini shrimp, spring rolls and sesame balls were served as well.  There were two different dinner styles of dinning available depending on guest’s preferences, buffet style and traditional family style. For those who wanted to experience the traditional family style, attendees sat at round tables, on which dishes were placed.  This helped attendees understand how Chinese have their family annual reunion dinner.

Students from WMU, Kalamazoo Lion Dance Troupe and Chinese Club at Northern High School, together with teachers from Confucius Institute at WMU presented wonderful performances.  The beautiful dance performance from the Han group showcased the elegance of female dancing with fans. The other dance described the Yi ethnic group’s celebratory festival. Also featured were tai chi, a Chinese painting demonstration, fashion show representing several stages of the country's history, Chinese folk songs, lion dance and a Chinese flute solo.

During three rounds of games and raffle drawings, prizes were given to many lucky attendees accompanied with good wishes for the year.

Staff spent more than a month organizing and preparing for the Chinese New Year gala and their hard work made the celebration a success. Participants from China experienced nostalgia, while others enjoyed a Chinese dinner and performances.

The Chinese New Year is an important traditional festival celebrating the beginning of spring. To the Chinese this festival means family getting together and a long relaxing holiday. The date for the Chinese New Year fluctuates based on the lunar calendar and each year is marked by one of 12 animals. In 2015, Chinese New Year Day falls on Feb. 18, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Goat.