Chinese New Year
Items on Display in the
William T. Young Library Atrium
Reproduction of an original silk painting by General Yeh Tsui Pai, presented to the University of Kentucky by the General, ca. 1998. The inscription on the banner commemorates the 100th anniversary of the University of Kentucky. The original silk banner, housed in the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections, is in fragile condition and not suitable for display. The banner was digitized by UK Libraries Digital Library Services and reproduced on cloth.
The Chinese Knot is often considered a Spring Festival Mascot. According to historical records, the Chinese began to tie knots to keep a record of events in remote antiquity. Big knots were tied for big events while small knots were tied for small events. Knots became a decorative art in the Tang or Song Dynasty. Later in the Ming or Qing Dynasty, people named the knots and attached different meanings to them. The Chinese Knot is special and unique because each Chinese knot is made of a single unbroken string. Knots vary in color, style, and meaning. Red knots are the most common.
The Lantern Festival ends the 15-day celebration of the Chinese New Year and is popularly referred to as Chinese Valentine's Day. The Festival has been in practice for around 2000 years and has many different stories about its origin. In the evening of the 15th day of the first month in the Lunar Calendar, people watch lanterns, set off fireworks, guess lantern riddles, eat Tangyuan (also known as Yuanxiao), and attend traditional performances.The color red in the Chinese culture means good luck and the color gold symbolizes wealth and happiness.
The flags represent the areas of the world associated with the Chinese people and culture.
In the display case is a calendar with Chinese paper cuts presented to the UK Libraries by Haban, the Confucius Institute Headquarters. The calendar is flanked by facsimiles of postcards from UK Libraries Special Collections. A complete exhibit of the postcards is displayed on the video windows in the Hub.