Horses, dragons, snakes, monkeys and sheep are five of the 12 animals that are associated with the Lunar New Year. Also known as Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, each year’s festivities celebrate an animal with unique characteristics. And in 2022, we welcome the Year of the Tiger.
The tiger represents strength and bravery, and the IE China Club is delighted to ring in the new year with an exciting roundup of traditional activities. The club’s event will, for the very first time, be held at our IE Tower, and will take place on February 3rd from 4 to 6 p.m.
IE University and the IE China Club are honored to welcome Mr. Wu Haitao, Chinese Ambassador to Spain, and Santiago Íñiguez, President of IE University, to open the event alongside President of IE China Club, Tingrui Zhang, a current student of the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations program.
As per the club’s mission to share the wealth of Chinese culture with the IE University community, they organize numerous events related to Chinese culture as well as politics, economics and so forth. The club also welcomes entrepreneurs from China or who work in China who share their experiences, wisdom and networks with students. President Tingrui Zhang emphasizes that students are warmly invited to participate in these events—including the upcoming Lunar New Year celebration—to get to know China better, make new friends and enjoy enriching experiences.
What is the Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year is an immensely important celebration for many Asian nations. The festivities take place on the first day of the first lunar month of the Lunar Calendar, or between January 21st and February 21st. The color red is prominent in the festival as a symbol of good fortune and prosperity and abounds in the numerous decorations and traditions linked to the celebration.
The celebration is steeped in the legend of the Heavenly Gate Race. According to the legend, the heavenly Jade Emperor segmented time into cycles of 12 years, with each cycle guarded by one of the 12 animals that first crossed the threshold of the gate to heaven in a race. The tiger was the third animal across the threshold, thus claiming its place as a guard of time.
This year, Lunar New Year celebrations around the world will begin on February 1st and will last until February 15th. Celebrations around the world will come to an end with the famed colors and lights of the Lantern Festival.
How will we be celebrating at IE University?
The IE China Club has organized an array of activities inspired by traditional celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Tingrui is excited that the celebration will be less hampered by COVID-19 restrictions this year, meaning that students can enjoy a wider range of festivities than the previous year permitted.
The lineup of activities includes:
- Lion dances
- Martial arts
- Chinese calligraphy
- Sugar painting
- Paper cutting
- Sports and other games (with prizes!)
Students can choose to watch performances of the traditional lion dance, thought to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year, or learn the beautiful and delicate art of sugar painting. Game prizes up for grabs include trips around Spain with Smart Insiders as well as discount vouchers for Chinese restaurants in Madrid. Speaking of food, Tingrui promises a tantalizing spread of dumplings and beverages prepared by the IE China Club for just €5. Participants can also partake in a €15 menu from IE China Club’s favorite Chinese restaurant in Madrid, Hu Tong Restaurant, with the delicacies on offer including roast duck.
To those considering IE University for future studies as well as those new to campus, Tingrui encourages open-mindedness, friendliness and readiness to learn vast amounts both from coursework and from the diverse group of friends you will make. He calls IE University “wonderful” and promises that your time studying here will be one of the best experiences you can have.
Start the Chinese New Year off on the right foot and in good company with Tingrui and the rest of IE China Club. They will be ready to welcome you to the Lunar New Year celebration on February 3rd at the IE Tower. Can’t wait to see you there!