The Business Confucius Institute prepares to welcome the Chinese New Year

Spring Festival came a month early to HELIX, as the Business Confucius Institute (BCI) welcomed staff, students and guests to look ahead to the Year of the Dragon.

Attendees were greeted by the beautiful sound of the guzheng as they arrived to see the University’s learning innovation hub adorned with couplets and red lanterns.  

Traditional music and decorations sitting alongside the cutting-edge venue and facilities put a fresh twist on Chinese New Year activities.

The programme was designed to educate, inspire, and build community.  

Students participate in a workshop on traditional Chinese calligraphy.


Presentations by BCI teachers introduced Chinese New Year traditions and taught some greetings in Mandarin.  Throughout the day attendees could try paper cutting and calligraphy in the Makerspace and add their messages to a lightboard.  Other interactive opportunities included the photobooth, podcasting room and online polls.  

Link to Leeds Ambassador Lynette attended the event and reported in her blog post:

The event was extremely interactive, encouraging us to take part in the various cultural activities... The highlight was a craft centre, offering hands-on experiences in traditional calligraphy and creating paper cut-out decorations for the Spring Festival.

The event was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate HELIX in action, making use of various spaces and highlighting equipment including the lightboard and podcasting set-up.  

The lightboard activity inspired many participants to consider how this tool could be used to enhance their own events and teaching.  

Recording a podcast on the day with representatives from the Student Welcome Team and Leeds University Union showed just how simple the kit is to use. 

Participants familiar with Spring Festival and Chinese culture soaked up the festive atmosphere with those who don’t usually celebrate, learning from each other and sharing their cultures and traditions. A diverse group of countries were represented among attendees.

Organisers of the event

In her Link to Leeds blog post Lynette said:

I found immense joy in immersing myself in diverse cultural experiences, savouring new foods, and forging new connections.

BCI Executive Director Professor Lynda Song said: 

Just as the lightboard images continue to glow with participants’ Spring Festival greetings, we hope that the sense of community created at this event will endure as we prepare to welcome the Year of the Dragon. The BCI will continue to educate, inspire and connect people at Chinese New Year and beyond.

Discover more about the Business Confucius Institute and the events they offer