The University of Reading will host a Lunar New Year festival on 8 February 2023. This festival is open to all and we hope to see you there!
Below are some words from Dr. Cong Xia Li, who is organising the festival this year and images from previous Lunar New Year celebrations:
Having taught Chinese at the University of Reading for over 15 years, I have been keen to run the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities to allow everyone on campus to experience the rich culture and traditions involved. I was delighted to see so many students and staff alike take part in the interactive activities such as 剪纸 (paper cutting), 书法(calligraphy), and Mahjong, which all have deep roots in Chinese culture and philosophy.
剪纸 (paper-cutting) is a folk art that appeared in the Han dynasty in the 4th century AD, originating from cutting patterns for rich Chinese embroideries. It even has a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage designation due to its long-standing 1500 years of practice.
Mahjong, a strategy-based tile game among four players, was developed in the 19th century in China and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. Through playing Mahjong, one can understand the relationship between chance and necessity. The philosophy behind the game is, using the American actress Julia Robert’s words, “to create orders out of randomly drawn tiles”.
This year, the annual Chinese New Year celebration is scheduled for 8 Feb 13:00 – 16:00 in the Palmer building. There will be lots of interactive activities like chopstick challenges, Chinese music and art, solving riddles, as well as aforementioned paper cutting, calligraphy, and mahjong. There will be lots of prizes to be won! I look forward to seeing you then.