Although most often associated with China, the holiday is celebrated across the likes of Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia and other Asian countries, as well as among diaspora communities.
“This year we won’t see the same shows, dance and music in person but Chinese students are resilient and they will be making special meals and staying in touch with family and one another,” said Yinbo Yu of the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
“It is important though that they are also supported at this time when it is only natural to feel the absence from home and family more sharply than usual.”
Students studying on pathway and foundation programs with Study Group said they are planning to decorate their homes, cook dumplings and spend time with loved ones.
“I plan to spend the Chinese New Year by making dumplings with my friends after class”
“I plan to spend the Chinese New Year by making dumplings with my friends after class,” said Xuanyue Fang at the University of Sheffield.
Although Covid-19 restrictions in many countries will prevent celebrations, those in China studying remotely are planning to spend time with family and enjoy huge meals.
“I can eat delicious traditional Chinese food and hang out with my family and friends,” said Biwei Chen, also at the University of Sheffield.
“I plan to finish my homework beforehand so I could fully enjoy the Spring Festival.”
Many universities are running events online for students and the general public. The University of Exeter said it is selling celebration pdfs, with the proceeds going to the Chinese Information and Advice Centre, which provides free support to disadvantaged Chinese people in the UK, while its Students’ Guild will be hosting a virtual club night with Korean DJ Emkay.
At the University of Leicester, students can join an online workshop where they will be taught how to paint a traditional Song Dynasty, while Confucius Institutes around the world are hosting galas and streaming performances from universities in China, including displays of kung fu, taijiquan and traditional music.