This Thursday marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, ushering all into the Year of the Rabbit. Generally considered to be a sign of luck, the rabbit is the fourth of 12 featured in the Chinese Zodiac.
This year, the UB Confucius Institute teamed up with the Chinese Club of Western New York (CC-WNY) to present a Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Center for the Arts' Mainstage Theatre. The performances are free and open to the public.
A dinner party at Imperial Buffet, 2122 George Urban Blvd., from 6:30 p.m. until midnight, follows the performance. This event requires a ticket, which are sold out.
Chinese New Year, which is also called the Spring Festival, is known as a time to reconcile with family members, forget grudges, and wish all peace and happiness. Money and gifts are frequently exchanged, and homes are cleaned in an effort to rid ill wishes.
The UB Confucius Institute involves the Asian studies program in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and the Capital Normal University in Beijing and Hanban, which is the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International and affiliated with China's Ministry of Education. As one of a 300-institute network, this program seek to promote the study and teaching of Chinese language and culture.
The CC-WNY is a non-profit organization that has been "leading the local Chinese community in various cultural activities and events," according to its website at cc-wny.org. The group seeks to cultivate friendships, offer encouragement and support, promote cultural exchange, and foster a stronger relationship with the surrounding community. It is the largest Chinese ethnic organization in Western New York.
"Everyone is welcome to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration," said Wenzhong (Eric) Yang, Ph.D., the executive director of the UB Confucius Institute. "Come enjoy the dances, the music, the performance."