Credit Matt Austin

Image courtesy of Matt Austin 

Dazzling fireworks planned for Exeter’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations

Welcome in the Year of the Pig with traditional dragon dancing, vibrant displays and dazzling fireworks at the University of Exeter’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

People of all ages are welcome at the event, which takes place on Sunday 17 February in the city and on the Streatham campus.

Presented by the Chinese Student Scholars Association (CSSA) and supported by University of Exeter, the University’s Students Guild and Streetwise Fund, the University of Exeter Chinese New Year celebrations are the biggest in the city and are regularly attended by over 2,500 people.

The family-friendly event will begin at 1pm when traditional dragon and lion dancers will make their way through Exeter City Centre. The dancers will begin at Buffet City, continuing through Cathedral Green, Bedford Square and process along the High Street. The parade will make its way to Streatham Campus for the dancing finale at 3pm inside the Great Hall.

Colourful Chinese displays, craft stalls and delicious Chinese cuisine will fill the Forum and guests of all ages will have the chance to get involved in a range of activities from 3.15pm.

At 5.15pm, visitors will be invited into the Great Hall once again to sit back and enjoy a variety of spectacular cultural performances from students.

The festivities will end with a procession to the fireworks at 6.30pm, which will be viewed from the University’s XFI building.

President of the Chinese Society, Zhe Xu said: “We want to share our happiness with everyone in Exeter and bring people a memorable experience during this festive season.

“Guests are invited to join us to have fun and learn more about Chinese culture, through dragon and lion displays and traditional Chinese activities such as calligraphy, lantern and fan painting and face painting for kids.

Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China and has a rich long history spanning back thousands of years. The festival is associated with several myths and customs and was traditionally a time to honour deities as well as ancestors. Also known as the “Spring Festival” and “Lunar New Year”, it marks the end of the winter season. In 2019, Chinese New Year falls on 5 February and welcomes in the Year of the Pig.

“People who are born in the Year of the Pig are dedicated, optimistic, sincere, compassionate and have excellent popularity” explains Zhe.

“They are also calm, kind-hearted and simple. They use their perseverance and courage to undertake all work assigned to them, and will do their best to do a good job. Therefore, there is reason to trust them fully and let them struggle on their own.”

Sue O'Hara, University of Exeter Student Support Officer, said: “We always look forward to this annual event. It is a sight to behold to see the campus come alive with lanterns, crafts, crowds, music and colour for the students to share their culture with the wider community.

“This year the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery will be bringing some artefacts from their collection that you can actually handle.”

Date: 31 January 2019

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