Chinese New Year Celebration at URI, Feb. 17

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KINGSTON, R.I.—February 4, 2008—You can learn about China and Chinese culture at the University of Rhode Island Feb. 17. That’s when the University will host an exciting Chinese New Year celebration with a luncheon, auction and performances. The celebration, a continuation of the University’s successful China- focused programming begun in 2007, welcomes a new prosperous year in academics, scholarship, research, fund-raising, and global outreach.

The Chinese New Year’s celebration is the most important, elaborate, and colorful Chinese holiday. It is a time for the Chinese to gather with family and friends to congratulate each other on having passed through another year and to look forward to the new year.

URI’s celebration begins with a Taste of China luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Reservations are recommended at

A silent auction will be held during the luncheon. Auction donations are encouraged. Items should be either new or antique and can be dropped off at URI’s Surge Building, 210 Flagg Road, Kingston, Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Feb. 15. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Chen, 401-874-4638 or Karol Leuzarder at 401-874-4965.

Chinese New Year Performances, in English and Chinese, will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p. m. in URI’s Fine Arts Concert Hall, URI Kingston campus.

Performances include a lion dance, martial arts, and a magician. URI faculty and students who have been studying Chinese will also showcase their musical and dance talent, as will members of South Kingstown High School and Chinese community.

“URI is particularly pleased to have faculty members from the Naval War College in Newport participating in the event,” says Yan Ma, professor of library and information studies who directs the Confucius Institute at URI. “We look forward to future collaborations.” The event is free and open to the public, and a donation of $5 is encouraged to support the Confucius Institute.

The upcoming Chinese New Year will be celebrating the “Year of the Rat.” The rat was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity. It is the first of the 12-year cycle of animals, which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

Organizers and sponsors of the event include the Confucius Institute at URI and URI’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and URI’s High Performance Computing Lab at the Department of Electrical Computer and Biomedical Engineering. Co-sponsors are URI’s College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Student Affairs, LaiLai Restaurant, China Buffet, Target, and the Ocean View Restaurant in Narragansett.

Directions to URI campus can be found at