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UB Confucius Institute and Chinese Club of WNY to Celebrate Chinese New Year Feb. 5

Free public performance at UB will feature Chinese music and dance

Release Date: January 11, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute, in partnership with the Chinese Club of Western New York (CCWNY), will present a Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 5 from 3-6 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre, Center for the Arts, UB North Campus.

The celebration, which is free and open to the public, will feature lively music, colorful dance and other performances by members of the CCWNY.

Following the performance, a dinner will be held at Imperial Buffet, 2122 George Urban Blvd., near the intersection of Dick Road, Depew. The restaurant was formerly China Town Buffet.

The dinner, which will feature traditional Chinese New Year delicacies and entertainment, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until midnight. Dinner tickets must be purchased in advance and prices range from $8 to $22. For further information on ticket purchase, visit http://www.cc-wny.org.

"Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays," says Kristin Stapleton, PhD, director of both the Confucius Institute and the UB Asian Studies Program and associate professor of history at UB.

"We are excited to be collaborating with the Chinese Club for this festive celebration," she says, "since our two organizations share the goal of increasing understanding about China in Western New York."

CCWNY President Lixin Zhang, MD, PhD, medical director of DENT Dizziness and Balance Center at DENT Neurologic Institute, says, "The CCWNY has been established for more than 30 years in Western New York and has about 400 member families. Its tradition is to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival every Chinese lunar year with live performances featuring our own members. This year, for the first time, with help from the UB Confucius Institute, we are able to bring the celebration to UB's Mainstage Theatre."

The Chinese Spring Festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day. The last day before the New Year begins -- Chinese New Year's Eve -- is a day on which families gather for their annual reunion dinner.

Wenzhong (Eric) Yang, PhD, executive director of the UB Confucius Institute, says, "Chinese New Year is celebrated in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan and other Asian countries with significant Chinese populations, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as among Chinese Diaspora populations elsewhere. The holiday also has influenced the New Year celebrations of China's geographic neighbors.

"During the celebration of the new year," he says, "people spend considerable sums of money on presents, decorations, food and clothing. Traditionally, every family thoroughly cleans their house to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for good luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red paper-cuts and couplets (pairs of lines poetry), featuring popular themes of happiness, wealth and longevity.

"On the eve of Chinese New Year," Yang says, "families celebrate with a feast and end the night with fireworks. Early the next morning, children greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese believe that the new year is an important time to reconcile differences, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone."

The UB Confucius Institute is a collaborative program involving the Asian Studies Program in the UB College of Arts and Sciences; Capital Normal University, Beijing, a longstanding UB educational partner, and Hanban, the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, a non-governmental and non-profit organization affiliated with China's Ministry of Education.

The institute is part of a network of 300 such institutes around the world that promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture. For more information about the Confucius Institute and the festival celebration, contact Eric Yang at 716-645-7919 or wenzhong@buffalo.edu.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu