Echos of Chinese New Year Celebration

Echos of Chinese New Year Celebration

 

 

By: James D. Maur

 

On Saturday, February 23rd at three o’clock in the afternoon, a large and varied group of performers gathered at the Niagara Centre for Arts in Niagara Falls to celebrate the Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival.  Through dance and song, joy and happiness was shared with the audience, who were as diverse as the performers themselves, coming from many different cultures, races and ethnicities.  However, regardless of their backgrounds, all joined together to commemorate the same event.

The Chinese New Year Festival, or Spring Festival as it is also known, is the most important traditional festival in China. It began centuries ago, is based on the lunar calendar and is now celebrated in all corners of the world. The Festival always lasts fifteen days, with the end marked by the Lantern Festival, which corresponds with the first full moon of the New Year, when lanterns and light displays are placed outside in cities, towns and villages all across China.

This year, the Spring Festival began on February 10th, and fortunately the Niagara Centre for Arts and the Confucius Institute at Brock University were able to co-organize an outstanding gala to celebrate the ending of such an important festival.

Over a hundred people gathered to enjoy the event.  Most notably in attendance were Dr. Greg Finn, Associate Vice President of Brock University, and Counselor of Education Jun Fang from the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto.

The performers were talented people from all across the Niagara region.  Samantha and Valerie from the Niagara Centre For Arts hosted the event, and also impressed the crowd with their singing and Chinese skills throughout the afternoon.

The St. Catharines Chinese School captivated the audience with traditional dances, flowing movements and dazzling outfits.  The Confucius Institute at Brock University showed its talent with Sammy Wong, Dingxi Yao and Dr. Cheng Luo giving the audience a wonderful taste of traditional Chinese musical instruments.  Minghui Zhang and James Maur, the latter having spent the last 10 year in China and in possession of fluent Chinese, sung a wonderful Chinese duet, and Minghui’s vocal talents really shone through when she took the stage alone and sang the Chinese Folk song “A Glass of Wine”.

Western culture was well represented by Danny Lamb, who thrilled the audience with an original song entitled “Stuck on You”, and the Rick Rose Band got the crowd on their feet with renditions of “Red River Valley” and “Sweet Caroline”.  Tina Zhang displayed fantastic moves with her “Boom Boom” hip-hop dance.  And a definite highlight was Dave Cox’s amazing tap dance toward the end of the show.

In Chinese, it is common to wish such a gala to be “Wholly and Completely Successful”.  With smiles on everybody’s faces, laughter and applause, friends old and new coming together, it was evident that the New Year and Lantern Festival Gala was “wholly” wonderful, “completely” astounding and definitely “successful”!

 

 

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 Picture taken by Confucius Institute at Brock

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 Picture taken by Confucius Institute at Brock

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 Picture taken by confucius Institute at Brock

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  Picture taken by Confucius Institute at Brock

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  Picture taken by Confucius Institute at Brock