Chinese New Year celebration events for the Year of the Sheep

January 21, 2015  


2015 Chinese New Year

Purdue University's 2015 Chinese New Year Reception is 2-3:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom. The event will feature Chinese food, music and calligraphy demonstrations. There will also be performances (photo from 2014) of folk dances by the Confucius Institute Performing Arts Troupe and lion dances by the Purdue Department of Theatre. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue will celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Sheep with a reception, lectures and theater performances the week of Feb. 16.

The week of events will begin at 2 p.m. on Feb. 16 with the annual Chinese New Year's Reception in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom. Sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Purdue, the event is free and open to the public and will feature Chinese food, music and calligraphy demonstrations. There will also be performances of folk dances by the Confucius Institute Performing Arts Troupe and lion dances by the Purdue Department of Theatre. The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance that is more than 1,000 years old and often part of New Year's celebrations and other traditional festivals.

"This annual celebration has continued to grow in popularity, allowing for an expansion of events to include a full week of sponsored lectures, discussions, film viewings and other programs for the general public," said Wei Hong, the director of the Confucius Institute at Purdue and a professor in the School of Languages and Cultures. "We are pleased to partner with the Department of Theatre, the Chinese Program and the Comparative Literature Department."

The date for the Chinese New Year fluctuates based on the lunar calendar and each year is marked by one of 12 animals. This year New Year's Day falls on Feb. 18 and it is the Year of the Sheep. The Year of the Sheep, also referred to as the Year of the Goat or Ram, is the eighth sign in the zodiac.

2015 Chinese New Year Sheep

Purdue's 2015 Chinese New Year Reception is 2-3:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom and will celebrate the Year of the Sheep. This photo is from the 2014 event.  (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) 
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"People born in the Year of the Sheep are said to be kindhearted, creative, friendly and just," Hong said. "The year 2015 is associated with the element wood, additionally signifying gentleness and compassion, indicating these people are harmonious and perseverant."

The Confucius Institute at Purdue is one of 480 similar institutes sponsored by the Chinese Language Council International to develop relationships and understanding between countries.

The events, which are free and open to the public, include:

* Feb. 16. 6-8:30 p.m. Krannert Auditorium. Film viewing of "Red Sorghum," in Chinese with English subtitles. Sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Caucus.

* Feb. 17. 10:30-11:45 a.m. Rawls Hall, Room 2070. "Vernacular Drama and Fiction," presented by Sabina Knight a Chinese professor at Smith College. A seminar discussion sponsored by the Comparative Literature Department.

* Feb. 17. 2-3 p.m. Rawls Hall, Room 2058. "Patching a Broken Sky: Literary Culture and China’s Global Mission" lecture by Sabina Knight, a Chinese professor at Smith College. A lecture sponsored by the Comparative Literature Department and the Center for Religion and Chinese Society.

* Feb. 17. 3-3:45 p.m. Rawls Hall, Starbucks. "Mo Yan in Context" book signing, with contributing Purdue professors, researchers and co-editors Yuhan Huang, Angelica Duran, Chi-ying Alice Wang, Fenggang Yang and Donald Mitchell. Free refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by the Purdue University Press and Comparative Literature Department.

* Feb. 18. 7 p.m. Stewart Center, Fowler Hall. The day of the 2015 Chinese New Year, "Lucky Lanterns," will be performed by the co-sponsoring Department of Theatre in the Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for those attending the original one-act play. Purdue students will also perform this Educational Outreach Project for local elementary schools.

"We want to communicate Chinese culture, particularly traditions surrounding the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, to elementary and middle school students," said Joel Ebarb, associate professor in the Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts. "Both American and Chinese Purdue students will dress in Chinese costumes to perform traditional songs and dances, including the Lion and Dragon dances with large-scale puppets."

* Feb. 19. 4-5:30 p.m. Stanley Coulter, Room 239. "Chinese New Year: A Changing Tradition seen through films and popular entertainment." A Chinese Studies Colloquium by Jinhua Li, assistant professor of Chinese studies and language of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Purdue and the Chinese Program in the School of Languages and Cultures. 

Writer: Rachel Semple, rsemple@purdue.edu

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

Source: Wei Hong, professor of languages and cultures, 765-494-3859, hongwei@purdue.edu 

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