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Bringing good fortune to 2023

22 February 2023

Three children showing their paper-cutting at the Red Dragon Centre's Chinese New Year event
Proud children at the Red Dragon Centre's Chinese New Year event

China is one of many countries across the world that uses the lunar calendar, a system based on the phases of the moon.

This means that as the ‘lunar new year’ falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, the date changes every year. In 2023, the event also known as ‘Chinese New Year’ fell on 22 January, and the tutors at Cardiff Confucius Institute marked this special day and ensuing Spring Festival with local communities, students and schools across Wales.

Cardiff Confucius Institute tutor performing Kung Fu
Tutor Zigeng showing off his Kung Fu skills.


Mandarin tutor Wei Tang did an excellent job working in collaboration with Cardiff Central Library Hub and the Red Dragon Centre for their Chinese New Year Celebrations. The first event was held at the Cardiff Central Library on 21 January and attended by over a thousand members of the public. It included fun activities and performances for all ages including music, Tai Chi, language tasters and mask making.

Cardiff Confucius Institute tutor Modi playing the Pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument
Tutor Modi playing Pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument

Our tutors also worked with the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff, and marked this unique day in the Chinese calendar with a mix of festivities including calligraphy, paper-cutting, making lanterns and storytelling. Hundreds of participants were also treated to entertainment including a Lion Dance and pipa music.

Children at the Red Dragon Centre with the Chinese dragon
Children at the Red Dragon Centre meet the Chinese dragon


On 1 February, Cardiff Confucius Institute, Residence Life and Languages for All hosted a joint event celebrating Chinese New Year. The event took place in Cardiff University’s impressive Centre for Student Life and was attended by over 250 students. During the day, participants were able to test their calligraphy skills and learn some useful phrases in Mandarin, all whilst enjoying free food supplied by University Catering. They also made paper lanterns in preparation for the Lantern Festival on 5 February, which marks the end of the three-week Spring Festival in China.

Cardiff University students at Chinese New Year event in the Centre for Student Life
Cardiff University students enjoy the Chinese New Year event in the Centre for Student Life

A ‘Chinese Corner’ was also held on 25 January for 40 participants at the School of Modern Languages. Tutor Ling He discussed the history of the Spring Festival, how Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year, and the ways in which the festival has changed over the years. Tutor Modi Zhu also played the Pipa, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, and participants took part in a ‘lantern guessing activity’ and made special Chinese New Year decorations to bring good fortune.

The next Chinese Corner on Festivals and Food will be held on Wednesday, 22 February 18:30 – 20:00 at the Centre for Student Life. Sign up on Eventbrite.

Cardiff Confucius Institute tutor talks about Chinese New Year at Chinese Corner.
Tutor Ling talks about past and present Chinese New Year celebrations at a special Chinese Corner


Children from across Wales enjoyed a Chinese New Year Online Festival for schools on 20 January. Almost 1200 pupils from 22 primary and secondary schools were treated to a day of live interactive sessions and in-class resources. The sessions included an introduction to new year decorations such as scrolls, 'Fu' words and window papercuts; a step-by-step introduction to making a classic Chinese dish, streamed live from one of the tutor’s kitchens; and the story of the Loong dragon, a legendary creature in Chinese mythology.

To view the recorded sessions visit this page.

Cardiff Confucius Institute tutor teaches paper-cutting to schoolchildren
Tutor Kun Hao teaches pupils in Ysgol Garth Olwg traditional Chinese paper-cutting

Tutors also held a variety of activities and ‘China Days’ in schools. These included chopsticks games at St Cyres Secondary School in Penarth; an introduction to the Shang dynasty, including calligraphy and oracle bone inscriptions at Caedraw Primary School in Merthyr Tydfil; and an upcoming event at Holy Family RC Primary School in Cardiff which will have a special focus on how Hong Kongers celebrate this special time of year.

Cardiff Confucius Institute tutors at Cardiff library's Chinese New Year celebration.
Cardiff Confucius Institute tutors at Cardiff library's Chinese New Year celebration.

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