Fireworks at last year's Spring Festival at the University of Exeter

People will be able to celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the University of Exeter with fireworks, dancing, food and games.

This month marks the first new moon on the lunar calendar and the start of the Spring Festival and the Year of the Dragon. 

The Spring Festival is the most celebrated and longest of all Asian festivals and is observed by millions of people around the world. Different countries in East Asia hold their own new year celebrations at this time. 

Spring Festival celebrations at the University of Exeter will take place on Tuesday, 13 February. Everyone is welcome and are invited to wear red on the day.

As part of the street festival, at the Forum Building at the Streatham campus, there will be a traditional tea ceremony, the chance to have your fortune told and try some Chinese calligraphy.

After feasting from food at a pop-up stall there will be a firework display outside the XFI building.

Those attending can also try the “pitch pot” game, taste traditional snacks and watch a Tinikling dance by the Filipino Society. Representatives from the Chinese Community Welfare Service will be available to discuss their work.

Student societies involved in the event at the Chinese Society, HK Pass, Malaysian Society, Singapore Society, Filipino Society, Mahjong Society, Vietnamese Society and Thai Society.

Queenie Ng, President of HK Pass and a medical imaging student, said: “Spring festival is always a time for families and relatives to gather around and celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year. Red packets will be given out and there will be firework displays in Hong Kong. Most importantly, people could enjoy a few days of holiday with their families.

“I will put decorations up and make traditional food with my grandparents, for example, rice cake and turnip cake. I will also visit relatives who I haven’t seen for a while. 

“There will be a candy box in our stall which contains different types of Hong Kong style candies such as the ‘White Rabbit milk candy’ and ‘Sugus’. The candy box symbolises good fortune and joy which we would like to share it to everyone in Exeter.”

Kyra Alvarez, President of the Filipino Society and an international business student, said: “We think this may be the first time that most people will have been able to see a Tinikling dance and we look forward to demonstrating! Those attending will also be able to try on some of our national costumes.”

Events start at 12noon, with food available from 11 to 3pm, and fireworks at 6:45pm.