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Cardiff Confucius Institute celebrates Chinese New Year

4 March 2024

The head of a red and  gold dragon made out of balloons.
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2024 is the year of the dragon

Staff at Cardiff Confucius Institute have organised and contributed to events across Cardiff to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Several events were held during February to mark the occasion and saw the Confucius Institute’s community help with events in the local Cardiff community.

The events were held in collaboration with Cardiff Central Library Hub, the local Chinese community and the Red Dragon Centre and included a variety of activities for people of all ages.

On Saturday, 10 February, and Sunday, 11 February, visitors to Cardiff Central Library and the Red Dragon Centre had the opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture as well as try their hand at calligraphy, lantern making and paper folding during sessions hosted by Cardiff Confucius Institute. Other sessions involved tasting Chinese tea, trying on traditional Chinese clothes and enjoying a performance of the Lion Dance.

The events celebrated the start of a new Chinese year which, according to the Chinese zodiac, is the year of the dragon. This follows on from the year of the rabbit in 2023.

People who have dressed up as a lion and a Chinese character perform a dance in the street.
Visitors were treated to a performance of the Lion Dance

Kate Barber, International Manager at Cardiff University, said: “It was a weekend full of festivities. Cardiff Library surpassed their attendance numbers from the previous New Year activities recording over 1000 people attending the event throughout the afternoon.

“The Red Dragon Centre recorded 6,000+ total visitors on Sunday with peak times being between 12-4pm, when the event was taking place. We are thrilled to continue to contribute towards this celebration and that we have such great engagement with the local community.”

A woman who's dressed in yellow pours tea from a teapot.
A Chinese tea tasting session was one of the sessions held across the weekend

Cardiff Confucius Institute also held events with primary schools to celebrate Chinese New Year. Live online sessions were held by tutors on 9 February and covered a variety of topics including Chinese zodiac, Chinese characters and Chinese opera makeup. Forty-four primary schools across Wales took part in these sessions, and many more planned to use the recorded sessions and resources in their own time.

Additional sessions were also recorded for secondary school pupils. These discussed life in China and covered topics such as youth culture and tea houses in China.

Vicky Ucele, Wales China Schools Project Manager at Cardiff Confucius Institute, said: “Our Chinese New Year activities continue to grow every year, and we were really happy to see so many schools from across Wales take part.

“We had well over 100 schools interested in our online festival for primary schools, and almost 30 secondary schools sign up for our special ‘Life in China’ videos.

“This is an excellent turn-out, and alongside the activities tutors did in schools we work with on a regular basis (as well as 5 new schools they put on special celebrations for), the year of the Dragon is certainly looking prosperous already!”

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