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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

SU campus to celebrate Chinese Spring Festival Feb. 4

Banquet, performances mark Chinese new year

Jan. 28, 2011, by Kelly Rodoski

Spring Festival, the important Chinese holiday marking the arrival of the New Year, begins on Feb. 3. The Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA) will simultaneously celebrate the holiday and educate the University community about it through a unique collaboration with an Honors Program class taught by anthropology professor Faye McMahon.

The CSSA’s Spring Festival Gala will be held on Friday, Feb. 4, in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a banquet. Performances begin at 7 p.m., and will feature a traditional Lion Dance by Syracuse Kung Fu; Orange Bhangra; SU Zinda; Cheon Ji In, the Korean Dance Club; and the breakdancing group Shift.

The Spring Gala is open to the public. Tickets are $6 for the banquet and performances, or $3 for the performances only. Tickets are available at the Schine Box Office, 443-4517.

“Spring Festival is the most important celebration to Chinese people, similar to Christmas in the western world,” says Chengcheng Chen, a member of CSSA. “Families get together and wish each other happiness and good luck in the New Year. This is an opportunity for us to share the happiness of the Spring Festival time, not only with the Chinese community, but with the entire SU community.”

The CSSA is decorating the first floor of Bird Library with Chinese-style Spring Festival decorations. On Monday, Jan. 31, the “Folk Arts, Festival and Public Display” class (ANT 300/HNR 340/SOL 360) in The College of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program, will join the CSSA to decorate the Library with Chinese red lanterns, the Chinese Knot tree (at which individuals can leave their wishes) and other colorful displays for the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Rabbit).

“The idea for this inclusive, student-initiated collaboration—a true gesture of hospitality—originated with ChaoJie Zhen, an undergraduate physics student in my Honors folk arts class last semester,” says McMahon. “By inviting students unfamiliar with Chinese culture to assist in making preparations for the festival itself, CSSA has made this a truly participatory event and one with potential for creating social and cultural bridges long after the festival ends.”

The CSSA will also decorate the SU Quad with Chinese lanterns from Feb. 1-5.