Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Horse

January 15, 2014  


New Year Lion Dance

The 2014 Chinese New Year Reception on Jan. 29 will feature lion dances from the Purdue Department of Theatre. The event, which is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Purdue Memorial Union's South Ballroom, will celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse. The event is sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Purdue. The lion dance, pictured, also was performed at the 2013 celebration. (Purdue University photo/Steven Yang)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Confucius Institute at Purdue will celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse on Jan. 29.

Because the popularity of the annual event continues to grow, the 2014 Chinese New Year Reception will take place in a larger location, the Purdue Memorial Union's South Ballroom, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature traditional Chinese food, music and calligraphy demonstrations, as well as folk dances by the Confucius Institute Performing Arts Troupe and lion dances from the Purdue Department of Theatre. The lion dance, often mistaken for a dragon dance, is a Chinese tradition that is more than 1,000 years old and is often part of New Year's celebrations and other traditional festivals.

Also new this year is a traditional fashion show, provided by Han Culture, a student organization that promotes the diversity of cultures at Purdue.

The date for the Chinese New Year varies each year and is determined by a lunar calendar, and it is always marked by one of 12 animals. The actual New Year Day is Jan. 31 but the Purdue celebration is Jan. 29.

"In Chinese tradition, horses have been much celebrated in legends, literature and proverbs," says Wei Hong, professor in the School of Languages and Cultures and director of the Confucius Institute at Purdue. "They are, with their heroic yet modest personality, identified to be persistent, industrious, striving and wise. People born in the Year of the Horse are believed to be hard-working, responsible, optimistic and generous."

The Confucius Institute at Purdue is one of 440 such institutes worldwide that are sponsored by the Chinese Language Council International to develop relationships and understanding between countries.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Wei Hong, 765-494-3859, hongwei@purdue.edu

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