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Chinese New Year celebration at UB combines traditional and contemporary performing arts

BUFFALO, N.Y. – For the eighth consecutive year, the
University at Buffalo Confucius Institute and the Chinese Club of
Western New York (CC-WNY) will mark the arrival of the Chinese New
Year with a diverse program celebrating Chinese culture on
Saturday, Feb. 17, from 2:30-5 p.m. at UB’s Center for the

The popular free event has often filled the CFA’s
Mainstage to capacity with guests enjoying a spectacular display of
art, language, music, storytelling and martial arts

“The Chinese New Year celebration is the culmination of
our year-round activities promoting a better understanding of
Chinese culture both on and off the UB campuses,” says
Zhiqiang Liu, an associate professor in UB’s Department of
Economics and director of the Confucius Institute. “What
makes the event so special is that it brings Chinese and
non-Chinese people together on a grand scale to showcase their
talents and renew friendships.”

This year’s program builds on previous events and will
include performances representing a broader background than ever
before, according to Zhen Liu, president of the Chinese Club of
Western New York.

“That diversity is a sign of growing pride in the
Chinese-American community,” says Liu.

UB’s celebration comes one day after the actual arrival of
the Chinese New Year, a date determined by the lunar calendar. One
of 12 different animals represents each of the calendar’s
annual cycles — 2018 is the Year of the Dog.

According to myth, people born in the year of the dog exhibit
intense loyalty in all of their relationships, whether friends,
family members or work colleagues.

Recent dog years include 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006,
beginning their 12-month cycle generally in late January or early
February because of the lunar rather than solar reference

In China, the arrival of the lunar New Year is a public holiday
celebrated in many ways.

At UB, approximately 250 performers will take the stage during
the afternoon program that will honor both traditional and
contemporary elements of Chinese culture.

Highlights include:

Lion Dance: Gold Summit Martial Arts Institute

  • Lion Dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture
    and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s
    movements to bring good luck.

Spring embroidery

  • A graceful and joyous dance performed by the CC-WNY high school
    dance group.

Big Fish: City Honors High School Chinese Language Student

  • The song “Big Fish” interprets a story of love that
    is as deep as the sea.

Picking Osmunda: Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

  • The dance, inspired by a poem in the ancient Chinese Book of
    Songs, depicts women picking vegetables, symbolizing a peaceful and
    prosperous village life.

A Lovely Rose: Xinjiang Male and Female Group Dance

  • “A Lovely Rose” is a household folk song that
    depicts how young hearts are bewitched by the song.

“This is a wonderful way to draw attention to Chinese
language, culture and traditions as a unique heritage shared by our
growing Chinese community with the broader Western New York
community,” says Stephen Dunnett, UB professor and vice
provost for international education. “The New Year
celebration provides a large and enthusiastic audience for this
important cultural outreach by our Confucius Institute.”

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