Confucius Institutes co-founded by ECNU mark Spring Festival


Worldwide Confucius Institutes with ECNU as a co-founder held grand Spring Festival celebrations to usher in the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Representatives from New York-based China Institute Confucius Institute and the children’s education department of China Institute were invited to attend the International Night event at the PS 77 Lower Lab in the biggest U.S. city on January 19.

They set up a China booth to showcase traditional folk customs for celebration of the most important festival for Chinese people, including sticking the Chinese character “fu”, which means good fortune, pasting up Spring Festival scrolls, do the paper-cutting of the Chinese character “chun” (spring), writing Chinese calligraphy of “chun”, and handing out lucky money red envelops, which enchanted crowds of onlookers.

Seven schools under the Confucius Institute at University of Central Arkansas held various celebrations including a Spring Festival gala, painting by blowing paint onto a canvas, writing Spring Festival couplets, making dumplings, eating Chinese food, learning about 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and watching a BBC documentary about Chinese Lunar New Year. The activities enhanced the perceptual knowledge of U.S. students about Spring Festival and wetted their appetites for the Chinese language and culture, according to the organizer.

In Turing of Italy, the Jewish Refugees and Shanghai Exhibition kicked off at Museo dei Resistenza on January 24, which was jointly held by the Confucius Institute in Tunin, the Italian Consulate General in Shanghai and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The exhibits included films, photos and relic replicas about Jewish refugees seeking shelter in Shanghai during WWII.

On January 26, the night before Lunar New Year’s Eve, the Oakhill School of the University of Oregon Confucius Institute staged a party to mark the festival. All of the 200-strong participants, including the principal, wore red clothes and ornaments that meant luck and good wishes. Students played Chinese chess, made dumplings, put on qipao, performed lion’s dances and played a game featuring 12 Chinese zodic animals.

A concert hosted by the Confucius Institute in Chicago and given by the student art troupe of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China was staged at Walter Payton’s Recital Hall on January 27, with participation of 1,000 students from eight Chicago public schools. The performances, including chamber music, dances and martial arts, elicited prolonged applauses from the audience. The organizer hoped the concert would build a bridge between U.S. and Chinese cultural exchanges and promote mutual understanding of the two people.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa began to offer Chinese as a selective course at two local senior high schools, including Iowa Westtown School, since last autumn. The course is a credit course and contains 4-5 general knowledge classes each week on Chinese calligraphy, seal carving, dialects and festivals. On February 2, students of the Chinese class at Iowa Westtown School made dumplings for the first time, watched documentaries about Chinese New Year, sang Chinese children’s folk rhymes, and played lucky-money-winning games.

A ceremony took place to welcome a new Chinese head of the Confucius Institute at the University of Basel in Switzerland on February 7, attended by more than 30 local teachers and government officials, including Florian Eggli, head of Marketing Cooperations at External Affairs and Marketing of Basel, and Dominique Tellenbach who is in charge of vocational education of the area.

In Belgium, the Confucius Institute at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) opened its first Chinese Culture Exposure class on February 8, when the new semester started. Students were taught how to write Spring Festival scrolls and sent each other New Year best wishes. The school held celebrations for the Lantern Festival on Feb. 15.


East China Normal University