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UB Confucius Institute, Chinese Club of WNY to Celebrate Chinese New Year Jan. 28

Free public performance at UB will feature Chinese music and dance

Release Date: January 4, 2012

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Erin Markle, president of the Gold Summit Organization, demonstrates martial arts moves to be presented at the Chinese New Year celebration at UB on Jan. 28. (Photo property of GSODEC.)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI), in partnership with the Chinese Club of Western New York (CCWNY), will present an exciting Chinese New Year celebration, full of color and music, on Jan. 28, 2:30-4:30 p.m., in the Mainstage Theatre, UB Center for the Arts on the North Campus.

This popular celebration of the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays is free and open to the public. It will begin with the Chinese dragon dance and a martial arts demonstration by students of Buffalo's Gold Summit Organization for the Development of Eastern Culture, followed by lively music, colorful dance and other performances by members of CCWNY.

Donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of the dancers' costumes for this performance and to help support future events.

Following the performance, a dinner banquet featuring traditional Chinese New Year's delicacies along with entertainment will be held 6-9:30 p.m. at Temple Beth Am, 4660 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville. Dinner tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under six.

Tickets are limited and must be purchased on Jan. 7 or Jan 21, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the main office of Williamsville North High School, site of the Chinese Language School, 1595 Hopkins Road, Williamsville.

"We are excited to be collaborating with the Chinese Club for this festive celebration," said Eric Yang, PhD, executive director of the UB Confucius Institute. "Our two organizations share the goal of increasing understanding about China in Western New York."

Ken Hu, president of CCWNY concurs: "CCWNY, the largest ethnic Chinese American organization in the region, has been leading the local Chinese community in various cultural activities and festivals for more than a decade," he said. "The Chinese New Year celebration is one of our major annual events and we are very excited to partner with UB's Confucius Institute because it helps elevate the annual performance to a whole new level and involves the Mainstage at UB."

This is the second collaboration involving the two groups and both Hu and Yang say they hope to establish a long-term collaborative relationship.

Yang explains that 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 where families gather for their annual reunion dinner. This year, the Spring Festival falls on January 23 and launches the year of the Dragon, one reason the celebration opens with the dragon dance.

Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout Asia and among Chinese Diaspora populations elsewhere and has influenced the New Year celebrations of China's geographic neighbors.

During the celebration of the new year, 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-cutouts and poetic couplets featuring popular themes of happiness, wealth and longevity.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, 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 part of a network of 300 such institutes around the world. It promotes the teaching of Chinese language and culture in Western New York. The institute is a collaborative program involving UB's Asian Studies Program in the UB College of Arts and Sciences; Capital Normal University, a longstanding UB educational partner in Beijing, 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.

For more information about the Confucius Institute and the festival celebration, contact Eric Yang at (716) 645-7919 or wenzhong@buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
News Content Manager, Arts and Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu