Happy 2015 Chinese New Year – Year of Goat!

Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name.

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. It falls on February 19th in 2015.

2015 Chinese New Year - Year of Goat

5 Traditions to be followed during Chinese Spring Festival:

No.1 “Săo chén” – Sweep the dust

"Săo chén" - Sweeping the dustIn Mandarin, “chén”(dust) and “chén”(old) share the same pronunciation. Sweeping the dust during the Spring Festival has become an old custom, indicating “sweeping away the bad luck and welcoming the new beginning”.


No.2 “Shǒu suì” – Stay up all night on New Year’s Eve

"Shǒu suì" - Staying up all late on New Year's EveShǒu suì is the most important activity on Chinese New Year’s Eve when all the family members reunite together, have a superb dinner and stay up all night to greet the arrival of the Chinese New Year. Around the countdown moment, most families would set off firecrackers.


No.3 “Bài nián” – Make New Year greetings

"Bài nián" - Make New Year greetings

During the whole festive period, Chinese people will visit the elders, relatives and friends. Before entering their houses, everybody shall make new year greetings, with the hands in gesture as above. The most common greetings are “Xīnnián Hăo” (Happy New Year), “Shēntǐ Jiànkāng” (In good health), “Wànshì Rúyì” (All the best)…


No.4 “Tiē Chūnlián” – Put up Spring Festival couplets on the doors

"Tiē Chūnlián" - Put up spring couplets on the doorsThis tradition dates back to the Chinese ancient ritual. The couplets are considered as the protection against evil spirits and the invitation to auspicious gods to home.


No.5 “Hóngbāo/Yāsuìqián” – Red envelope/Lucky money

"Hóngbāo/Yāsuìqián" - Red envelopeIn ancient time, Chinese people thought that kids are easy to get disturbed by ghosts. Since “suì”(ghost) has the same spelling as “suì”(year). Therefore, when the younger make new year greetings to the elder during the spring festival, the elder shall put certain amount of “Yāsuìqián” in the “Hóngbāo” and gift to the younger so that they can have a safe and lucky new year.

Craze of northern France in Chinese study

Confucius Institute in Artois University (Université d’Artois) was founded in France in 2008. The establishment of the organization is to create a cross-cultural communication platform and is open to all sections of society. In February 2015, the 1st session of China Arts Festival (Arts Chine) will soon be open here. Chinese opera, cultural exhibitions, as well as a series of cultural lectures will be displayed to the students with the support of their vice-president Stephen Rowley.

Craze in Chinese study in northern France

Aims to popularize Chinese culture

Stephen Rowley said, “To teach Chinese language, to organize Chinese language proficiency test and to train the Chinese teachers in France are the main goal of Confucius Institute. We will also hold someseminars, related courses and practice activities. Students can participate in the activities such as
Chinese calligraphy, music, Tai Chi, oriental cooking and Chinese drama. China plays a very important role
in the strategic layout of the university. We offer enlightenment courses of Chinese culture for the extracurricular activities. So far in France, Arras is the only city that Chinese courses are offered from primary schools to doctoral courses.” According to the vice-president of Artois University, more than 200 students there are learning Chinese and many others are already studying in China. Some of them are doing internships in China and some already settled down. In addition, the university plans to organize one summer camp, “We will invite Chinese students to stay for one month in Artois University. They will live together with French students here and get exposed to local French culture.”


Why would French people be interested in Chinese?

English language is still in the dominant position by far, but we have already seen a new force coming from Chinese language, which is the positive impact from the world’s largest economy and at the same time has attracted the attention of many French students. French students like Chinese life, some of them do business and settle down in China. Artois University will introduce a new Master degree of Chinese language (le chinois, langue étrangère) in September 2015.

United Nations show love of Chinese calligraphy

On August 1st, He Yong, head of United Nations Chinese group said in Wuhan that Chinese calligraphy is becoming popular in UN and currently more than 300 people are learning calligraphy. However, on the contrary, many Chinese often forget how to write the characters while lifting the pen. Ge Changyong, vice chairman of Hubei Calligraphy Association said it is worth an introspection in China.

United Nations' love of Chinese calligraphy      United Nations' love of Chinese calligraphy

At the same day, an art exhibition of UN officials’ calligraphy work was held in Qintai Grand Theatre, displaying more than 60 pieces of calligraphy work by UN officials, of which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s calligraphy work “Qu Ze Quan” was exhibited for the first time in Wuhan and the second time in China.

UN official Terence is getting obsessed about Chinese calligraphy. He said that every Chinese character interprets thousands of years history and profound Chinese culture, “this is the treasure of the world”. He Yong said that currently a calligraphy class is given in UN every week, more than 300 people are eager to attend. Many UN officials showed their calligraphy skills at the exhibition.

Mr. Ge was deeply moved by the foreign friends’ passion on the calligraphy. With the popularity of computers, many Chinese often forget the character while writing in pen, not to mention practicing calligraphy. “Calligraphy is the key to Chinese traditional culture. In comparison to the UN officials’ love of calligraphy, the inheritance of Chinese calligraphy to Chinese people is apparently far not enough.”