2023 UCD CII Chinese Lunar New Year (Lantern Festival) Celebration Successfully Held
On the evening of 5 February, UCD Confucius Institute kicked off its 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration at the Institute Building. On the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar, as well as the first full moon of 2023, people gathered to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
(UCD CII building lit up on the night of the Lantern Festival)
The event was attended by H.E. Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Mr. He Xiangdong, former President of the European Parliament Mr. Pat Cox, UCD Acting President Prof. Mark Rogers, UCD Vice President Prof. Dolores O'Riordan, UCD Acting Executive Vice President Prof. Babara Dooley, Irish business legend Dr. Eddie O'Connor, Dr. Li Ren, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute for Chinese and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Galway, and Che Lupin, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Ulster University. Close to 6,000 guests from all walks of life in Ireland, including local Chinese communities, teachers and students from both countries and representatives from Chinese companies attended the evening's celebrations.
This Chinese New Year celebration aims to present a feast of Chinese cultural exchange and sharing. The celebrations were held in indoor and outdoor venues. The main venue for indoor activities was the lobby of the Institute Building, where a variety of gala performances were held, blending Chinese and Western cultures as well as local characteristics. The outdoor activities were based on the UCD campus, with flame show, a lantern display and an Asian food market set up in the lakeside meadow in front of the Confucius Institute Building, allowing the audience to experience the traditional Chinese festival culture and a joyful and peaceful atmosphere.
(Group dance The Face of Peking Opera)
As a key event of this Chinese New Year celebration, the gala performance was highly anticipated. The opening dance was The Face of Peking Opera by students from Dublin Confucius Class for Children, which presented the quintessence of Chinese culture to the audiences. After that, Ms. Zheng’s beautiful singing of Honghu Waters, Wave upon Wave brought out the rich folklore of China. The violin and Guzheng performance Liang Zhu by Hu Xinyi and volunteer teacher Lyv Yile also drew thunderous applause from the audience.
When it comes to the Lantern Festival, rice dumplings are an essential traditional Chinese food that signifies happiness and reunion. The audience laughed and applauded as Aria sang "Dumpling sales" delicately, bringing the audience together for a "happy reunion", followed by an exquisite Prin(s) jazz duet. The solo Yangqin piece "A Song of Ice and Fire" by Yang Xuan, a Confucius Institute teacher, took the audience back to the medieval epic fantasy TV series "Game of Thrones". Liu Chuxuan conquered the audience with her joyous Irish dance moves, tap dance, for which Ireland is famous. Finally, the Miao Girls, a group dance presented by the students at Dublin Confucius Class for Children enabled the audience to experience the Oriental charm.
While the spectacular indoor dance and song performances were presented, there was also a festive atmosphere outdoors. The flame show, the lantern exhibition and the Asian Food Night Market were all very lively. Festive lights lit up the Institute Building. The lake in front of the building and fireworks added radiance and beauty to each other. The lakeside lawn was dotted with rabbits, pandas, and tigers, attracting visitors to take photos. A short distance away, Asian food stalls lined up in a circular pattern with guests waiting to taste the food. People in attendance exchanged their feelings in different languages and enjoyed a festive feast together.
“Last Festival of Vernal Moon, the blooming lanterns bright as noon; This Festival comes now again, the moon and lanterns bright as then.” The 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration held by UCD Confucius Institute has promoted exchanges and understanding between different countries and nationalities through diverse and colorful cultural activities. It has also become a card for UCD Confucius Institute to publicize and spread Chinese culture.