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Glyndŵr University students celebrate Chinese New Year with spectacular show

Chinese students from Glyndŵr University celebrated their home country’s New Year with a spectacular show at a Wrexham shopping centre.

The university teamed up with The Real China restaurant at Eagles Meadow to welcome in the Year of the Horse on Friday January 31.

Glyndŵr University welcomes a sizeable number of Chinese students every year and many were present for the open air show in cold and wet conditions outside the restaurant.

The celebration featured a lion dance, a live demonstration of the Chinese martial art Kung Fu and two performances of traditional Chinese music.

Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, said: “We are delighted with our Chinese students and we were glad so many of them were able to join us for the New Year celebrations. They do so well in their studies and are an integral part of the vibrant and international student community which we are lucky enough to have at Glyndŵr.

“I’ve seen them at the stadium supporting Wrexham’s football team but they do so much more as well, contributing heavily to arts and music around the university.”

Ian Lucas, MP for Wrexham, said: “I’d like to say a big thanks to Glyndŵr University for organising the Chinese New Year celebrations. The university has built excellent networks with China over recent years and this has benefited the whole of Wrexham tremendously.

“On what was a very cold and wet day, I’ve no doubt that the warmth shown by The Real China restaurant ensured everyone involved had a wonderful time.”

The celebration, which took place around lunchtime, was the brainchild of The Real China’s new manager, 28-year-old Jian Qiao, who hails originally from the Chinese capital of Bejing and has been in Britain since he came here as a teenager to study.

He wanted to mark the Chinese New Year in a traditional and eye-catching way which would provide a strong reminder of home for students from his country currently at Glyndŵr University.

Jian said: “I thought that a performance of the lion dance would be perfect for the occasion as it goes right back into ancient Chinese history and is a wonderful thing to see.

“The university along with Wrexham County Borough Council and Eagles Meadow helped us organise this special day and I’d like to say a big thank you to all of them.”

The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and at other traditional, cultural and religious festivals.

Believed to originate in India or Persia, the dance may have been introduced to China as long ago as the third century.

It is performed accompanied by the music of beating of drums, cymbals and gongs synchronising with the lion’s movements and actions.

During the Chinese New Year lion dance troupes visit houses and shops in the community to perform the traditional custom of "cai qing" which literally means "plucking the greens", a quest by the lion to pluck the auspicious green vegetables like lettuce and auspicious fruit like oranges tied to a red envelope containing money, either hung highly or just put on a table in front of the premises.
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