Chinese New Year Gala
The Confucius Institute at the University of Idaho Wishes You Great Happiness in the Year of the Sheep!
Wish to thank all who celebrated the Lunar New Year with us on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the University of Idaho Administration Building's Auditorium. Our 2015 Chinese New Years Gala event highlights included the Seattle Huayin Dance Performing Arts Group, performers from the Seattle Beijing Opera school, Chinese Zither (gu zheng) and orchestra performance, UI Vandaleers choir, Chinese folk song duet, raffles, gifts for children and other programming brought to you by the University of Idaho Confucius Institute.
People born in the year of the sheep — the eighth Chinese zodiac animal sign — are creative, thoughtful, calm and gentle. Is there anyone who was born in the year of the Sheep in your life?
Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year.”
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness,” “wealth,” and “longevity.” Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, outside China its years are often numbered from the reign of the 3rd millennium BC Yellow Emperor. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various scholars, making the year beginning in 2013 AD the “Chinese Year” 4711, 4710, or 4650.
For more information on the Chinese New Year Gala, please contact the University of Idaho Confucius Institute by email or call 208-885-7110.