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Lancaster University students welcomed in the Chinese New Year during Week 12 with a variety of different events across campus, ranging from live music to the traditional dragon dance.
The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) hosted a varied and entertaining New Year celebration show in the Great Hall on Monday January 23rd, whilst further celebrations ensued on Tuesday 24th in Fylde Common Room and Bar with the Lancaster University Chinese Society.
Of the multiple acts included in the CSSA celebration show, traditional Chinese dances and songs, including the “Deep in the Bamboo Forest” cultural dance, were mixed with modern performances to produce a show that brought collective ovations, laughter and delight from those that attended.
Guest performances included modern dance routines by students from the University of Central Lancaster and the Lancaster University Belly Dancing Society. Speeches were also made in celebration of the recent Confucius Institute and Lancaster University’s strengthened ties with China.
Although one of the acts, the ‘Magical Ballet’, was unfortunately cancelled due to fire safety concerns, one student member of the CSSA commented that the celebration show was “amazing” and “a great way to start the new year.”
The following evening, the Lancaster University Chinese Society hosted celebrations in association with Fylde and Furness College. A range of activities were offered to all students, including Mahjong, a popular Chinese game, and the tasting of traditional Chinese tea and food. With guidance, students were invited to write their wishes for the new year in Chinese characters by use of brush and ink, and a traditional Chinese dragon dance was performed in Fylde bar. Free food was also available courtesy of Wong’s Kitchen.
While several students from China and Hong Kong expressed that the Chinese New Year is typically family-oriented and that it is inevitably unusual to be away from home during celebrations, the general atmosphere was one of joviality and excitement for the new year. One first-year undergraduate student from Hong Kong stated that it was, “good to be with friends and to celebrate”, despite reminiscing of previous family celebrations.
Dennis Esch, International Campaigns Cross Campus Officer (CCO) and member of the International Committee at the National Union of Students, told SCAN that the events were a “great way for all students to take part in the Chinese New Year experience.”
The Chinese Lunar New Year began on January 23rd this year, marking the year of the water dragon. Across the globe celebrations will continue until February 6th, the fifteenth day of festivities.