The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Confucius Institute celebrated the Chinese New Year with a dialogue on the importance of this annual occasion.
Various speakers took turns to share their insight about the Spring Festival and why the Chinese New Year is celebrated during this time of the year unlike other countries.
The Lunar Chinese New Year was celebrated on January 28, 2017 contrary to January 1 like South Africa and many other nations across the globe.
Speaking on the eve of the celebrations, Liu Michele Xing said they’re celebrating their New Year during this time of the year because the Chinese calendar is different from the rest of others.
“Even time as well you will find that when it’s 16: 00 here, in China it could be around 10 at night and thus we celebrate differently. This is one of the most important celebrations by the Chinese people and it’s highly regarded as such,” she said.
Wei Sun from the institute said during this time of the year Chinese people travel back home to spend time with their families, clean their homes and wish each other wealth.
“Also, children are given money by their elders and firecrackers are lit up to mark the celebrations significantly. Indeed this is the most important occasion for the Chinese community and we’re very excited to be celebrating with you as our guests today,” said Sun.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala wished all the Chinese people prosperity adding that UJ Confucius Institute is “the only institute that celebrates New Year twice in one year.”
Guests were treated to traditional Chinese cuisines and their soothing music in line with the Chinese Spring Festival’s series of celebrations.