Students celebrate Chinese New Year

First Posted: 2/3/2014

Students of the Scranton Chinese School will sing, dance, play instruments, recite poetry and demonstrate martial arts at the school’s Chinese New Year Festival on Feb. 9, 3:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 509, Brennan Hall, at the University of Scranton, according to Shuhua Fan, Chinese school co-operator.

“It (Chinese New Year) is an important tradition, and we hope to provide the opportunity for our students to experience the culture and carry on the tradition,” the Clarks Summit resident said. “This is very important given that most of our students are Chinese and there are not as many opportunities here as in Chinatowns in New York City or Philadelphia.”

According to Fan, the Chinese New Year; the most important holiday for Chinese around the world, always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar). It usually arrives sometime between mid-January and late February on the western calendar. Traditionally, the holiday provides farmers a break between the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. The customs observed are closely related to the work schedule of farmers. Spring usually arrives not long after the Chinese New Year. New Year celebrations and “Spring Festival” are synonymous, and typically are observed in a two-week long celebration that concludes with the Lantern Festival on Jan. 15.

This year will mark the Year of the Horse, according to Yaodong Bi, co-operator of the Chinese School.

The gathering room in Brennan Hall will be embellished with a paper dragon, signs with “Happy Chinese New Year” characters and an abundance of decorations in square shapes with the Chinese characters of “Good Fortune.”

Main dishes provided by The University of Scranton Dining Services will include dumplings, eggrolls, spring rolls, chicken nuggets, chicken lo mien, and fried vegetables. Families are also asked to contribute one dish to share their traditions.

The event is mainly open to Chinese School students and their families and friends. Anyone interested in attending Chinese School is also welcome to attend the event.

Approximately 50 students are currently enrolled in classes at the Scranton Chinese School, which was founded in 2010. The school is a nonprofit educational organization that provides a Chinese language/culture learning opportunity and aims to promote Chinese language literacy and cultural exchanges and diversity in the greater local community.

The tuition is $100 per person per semester, spring and fall, which is mainly used to reimburse teachers’ cost for transportation and class-related materials, and for Chinese school sponsored events such as Chinese New Year Festival and spring picnic. Detailed information can be found at

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