Jan. 24, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU marks ‘Year of the Dragon’
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University and the local community will celebrate the “Year of the Dragon” at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 11, in the Slippery Rock Township Community Center, 155 Branchton Road. The celebration includes a luncheon of Chinese food.
The “Year of the Dragon” is considered the luckiest of Chinese new years because the “Dragon” restarts the traditional 12-year cycle.
The free program, planned by Li Pu, assistant professor of communication, will feature a series of interactive games, including pingpong, Chinese yoyo, taiji, parachute activities and paper folding. There will also be chopstick tricks and calligraphy demonstrations.
The Steel Lion Dance Team will perform a dragon-themed lion dance. “This dance is always part of a traditional New Year’s celebration,” Pu said. The loud drum and cymbal sounds along with the aggressive dancing of the lion are believed by many to evict bad or evil spirits, giving rise to a good new year.
A local Chinese restaurant will provide lunch.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the “Lunar New Year” or “Spring Festival” is considered one of the most important Chinese holidays. While the year is 2012, the Chinese calendar marks it as the year 4710. The actual celebration runs 15 days, starting with a family reunion dinner and ending with a “Lantern Festival.
According to legend, Buddha summoned all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each. He said people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave and passionate. Salvador Dali and John Lennon were among those born in the Year of the Dragon, according to online sources.
The celebration is observed throughout much of Asia as an official holiday. It often includes buying presents, decorating, food and special clothing.
Millions of Chinese people return to their homes to celebrate the new year with family and friend. Around the world, the event is also marked with celebrations, including special foods and fireworks. In New York City’s Chinatown district, more than 600,000 rounds of firecrackers were set off during their celebration.
SRU, the Chinese Culture Association and the University’s Modern China Center helped organize the event. SRU’s College of Health, Environment and Science and the Asian Studies Program are the sponsors.
The actual holiday was celebrated Jan. 23 through Feb. 6, but is being marked locally in conjunction with the return of SRU students for spring classes.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. -