The Confucius Institute (CI) at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has organised an event to mark Chinese Spring Festival to signify the New Year on the Chinese Calendar. The Spring Festival, known as Chinese New Year, in China starts on the 22rd day of the 12th Lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The festival lasts for 23 days, ending on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year on the Chinese calendar. Students at the Confucius Institute sang Chinese songs, recited poems and exhibited cultural display at a ceremony held at the Amissah Arthur language Center, which was decorated with red lanterns, zodiac-themed paper cuts and works of Chinese calligraphy.
In an address, a Director of the CI-UCC, Prof. Hu Liangcai, said Chinese celebrate the Spring Festival to begin a year of hard work, good rest, relax with family and wished for a lucky and prosperous coming year. He said the Chinese traditionally celebrate the festival to start a new year of farm work and hope for a good harvest. That, Prof. Liangcai noted, had resulted in marking the start of the new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.
He said the main traditional celebrations of the festival include eating reunion dinner with family, giving red envelopes, firecrackers, new clothes, and decorations, adding that "more modern celebrations include watching the CCTV Gala, instant message greetings, and cyber money gifts." Touching on the superstitions and taboos for the festival season, Prof.Liangcai said Chinese do not indulge in cleaning or washing their hair in the first three days as such actions, they believed, would sweep or wash away good luck, a child was not supposed to cry, there should be no begging for alms, before the festival and throughout the celebration of the festival. Another Director at the CI-UCC, Prof. K. Opoku-Agyemang, expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for its constant support for the study of Chinese in Ghana. He said according to Chinese tradition, each Chinese year is named after an animal.
He said there were 12 such animals, namely: rat, cow, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Consequently, he added that 2017 markes Chinese Year of the Rooster. In her remarks, the Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof. Dora Edu Buandoh, who chaired the function, advised students to take advantage of the Confucius Institute at UCC to learn the Chinese language, noting "So that by the time it becomes expensive to come here, you would have gotten what you needed to get."
To this end, She urged students to contact the CI-UCC to enable them access the various opportunities available in Chinese institutions . She said, although cultures differ, from the explanation given by Prof. Liangcai as regards Chinese traditions, one could clearly see similarities amongst cultures as well. Present at the ceremony was the founding Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Bondzi Simpson, who received a gift for answering a question correctly.
Others were the Director of Internal Audit, Mr. Emmanuel Owusu; the Dean of the Centre for International Education, Prof. Rosemond Boohene, and the Faculty Officer at the Faculty of Law, Mrs. Emma Atta-Quartey.