The Confucius Institute at the University of Cyprus and the English School recently celebrated the Chinese New Year and welcomed in the Year of the Tiger.
As the Year of the Ox came to an end and people around the world were preparing for the Year of the Tiger, teachers and staff from the Confucius Institute at the University of Cyprus visited the English School at the end of last month to give students and teachers an insight into the Chinese New Year.
They were welcomed with a violin performance of the Chinese folk song “Mo Li Hua”, from students, Yuanhong Xie (Catherine) and YouYou Tian (Elena).
UCY Confucius Institute teachers, Lu Xing and Du Juan, gave an interactive presentation to teachers and students about the most popular Chinese New Year greetings, traditions and festivities, such as the decorations, the dances, the New Year’s Eve family dinner and the Spring Festival Gala. They learned to wish “虎年大吉” (Hǔ nián dàjí ; good luck in the Year of the Tiger) and “新年快乐” (Xīnnián kuàilè ; Happy New Year).
A Chinese calligraphy class also took place, where teachers and students wrote the Chinese character “福” (fu ; good luck). People in China decorate their front doors and windows with the character “福”, but placing it upside-down, which means “good luck arrives” because the words “upside down” and “to arrive” are almost perfectly homophonous.
The Confucius Institute is committed to promoting awareness of the Chinese culture in Cyprus through programmes in education, culture and arts, and the visit was a contribution towards this end.
The Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China. Celebrations last up to 16 days and culminate with the Lantern Festival, which was on Tuesday, February 15.