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Chinese New Year

Belgorod State University's Centre for Chinese Language and Culture greeted its first Lunar New Year with a celebration, led by Chinese students, for local schoolchildren

The University is sponsoring some students and staff to go into schools and generate interest in China and its language and culture. Tatiana Zasypkina and Tamara Kolycheva are working with Year 8 and Year 9 students from Gymnasium 5, and brought them along. The event was organised by Dr Svetlana Funikova.
The date of China's most important holiday depends on the lunar calendar, as it is the first new moon of the year, which usually falls in January or February. Ji Jinxiang shared childhood memories of New Year in China, and detailed the traditions that are common, which include exchanging gifts, giving money in red envelopes to young people, and letting off fireworks. She explained that the colour red and the noisy fireworks chase away evil spirits embodied by the lion-headed dragon creature called Nian (Year).
Then Liu Xiaotin sang 'Butterfly Love', Chi Yunze and Cui Zhan sang 'Love Will Not Leave Me', Zheng Jung and Qiao Minyui sang 'Only Once', and Liu Mandi performed a traditional dance called 'Falling Flower'. Ji Mingzhao then conducted a 'Tea Ceremony', and then the children had fun learning how to use chopsticks.

 M Droga and S Funikova Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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