Thousands of people will mark Chinese New Year at the University of Exeter with fireworks, dancing and dragons.
Stalls illustrating Chinese traditions and crafts, delicious Chinese cuisine, martial arts demonstrations and performances will be on offer at the Streatham campus for the family-friendly celebrations on Sunday, March 4.
More than 2,500 people are expected to attend the annual event, in the Forum building, which ends with a spectacular firework display at the XFI Building at 6:30pm.
The event is organised by members of the University of Exeter’s Chinese Society and supported by the University, the Student’s Guild, Streetwise and Exeter BID.
Starting at 1pm, the celebrations will kick off in Exeter city centre, where traditional dragon and lion dancers will start to make their way through the city, starting at Buffet City in George Street before moving to Bedford Square, Princesshay. Following what promises to be a stunning performance, the parade will continue along the High Street and Gandy Street towards the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The dancing finale will take place on the Great Hall Piazza, at the Streatham Campus.
Alongside the festival’s visiting professional lions, children from Kingwood Childcare and Culmstock Primary School will be taking part, who have a tradition of making their own dragons. Students from the schools will be parading their dragon at the opening of celebrations on campus with the visiting professional lions.
Jasmine Peng, a member of the Chinese Society said; “Chinese New Year is my favourite festival through the year, we can get new clothes and shoes on that day. Most importantly, we would receive red packages from our parents and other elder families, the money contained in them was our income during childhood.
“This event will include stunning performances and will be lots of fun for all the family.”
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor for the University of Exeter, said: “Chinese New Year has become an important special date for the University calendar and the family-friendly celebrations are a fantastic opportunity to welcome local people to the University.
“At Exeter, we are committed to offering an international experience and it is a real pleasure to celebrate this important festival on our campus.”
Ann Hunter, manager of In Exeter and Exeter BID who are helping organise the event added; “Chinese New Year is a spectacular festival that we are thrilled to celebrate in Exeter. We are delighted to support the University’s event which includes a traditional dragon and lion dancing parade, Chinese market and Fireworks display on 4th March and which we would encourage everyone to come and enjoy”
Chinese New Year has a rich long history spanning back thousands of years. In China it is known as the “Spring Festival” because it marks the end of the winter season and this year festivities will welcome in the dawn of the Year of the Dog.
For more information on this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations, visit the website.