Double Celebration Event: Dragon Boat Festival & the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
On May 30 2022 , the Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield held a unique "East meets West - Double Festival Celebration" event at a venue in the centre of Sheffield. This year on June 3, Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional Chinese festival will take place. This year, this festival also coincides with the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As in previous jubilee celebrations, various activities will be held across the UK at the beginning of this month to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
To welcome the arrival of the Double Festival, enhance local people’s understanding of Chinese culture and deepen the exchange and interaction between Chinese and English cultures, the Sheffield Confucius Institute organised the “Double Celebration Event”, attracting nearly 100 local people to participate in the event.
This special event included Chinese and British delicacies - making and tasting of traditional Chinese rice dumplings, known as Zongzi and traditional British cakes, as well as Sino-British festivals--- including quizzes on Dragon Boat Festival and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
To prepare this special event, the teachers of the Confucius Institute diligently prepared, purchasing all kinds of ingredients to make rice dumplings and cakes. Upon arrival, participants were also directed with how to properly wrap Zongzi and the right ingredients to use in the cakes.
Participants in the event said that although they knew that Zongzi was one of the traditional Chinese delicacies, they had never tried it, let alone made it by themselves. In the process of making Zongzi, the teachers of the Confucius Institute explained the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival, the traditions of Chinese people and the differences in Zongzi in different regions.
In addition to residents, Chinese families and international students living in the UK also participated in the event. They also showed a strong interest in British cake making, especially children who participated in the event under the guidance of their parents.
Later in the event, the Confucius Institute organised a set of joint Dragon Boat and Jubilee quizzes, co-chaired by the Chinese and British hosts, Zhipeng Duan, a full-time teacher from the Confucius Institute, and Olivia Hodson-Barnes, the Project coordinator of the Confucius Institute.
They designed two different sets of Chinese and British festival quizzes, Chinese participants answered questions related to the Queen's Platinum Celebration, while British participants answered questions related to Dragon Boat Festival.
In this session, the audience was eager to join in and actively participated in the festival knowledge quiz, which bought the atmosphere of the event to a climax.
The finish the event, everyone had the opportunity to try the Zongzi they had made earlier on. The members of the general public who tried zongzi for the first time said that the zongzi was very delicious. The first time eating Zongzi , especially when it has been made by yourself is very meaningful and memorable. Equally, freshly baked cakes are also very popular.
This event not only showed the general public the culture of traditional Chinese festivals, but also allowed local Chinese and international students living in the UK to feel the taste and warmth of "home", as Dragon Boat Festival approaches. More importantly, Chinese and British people were able to exchange ideas and interact with each other.
"The relationship between countries lies in the relationship between the people, and the relationship between the people depends on the heart-to-heart connection."
The Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield will continue to work hard to interact with local universities and communities, use its own resources and advantages to build a bridge for cultural communication between China and Britain.
The event was very well organised and the teachers and staff knew their roles so everything flowed smoothly. The food was delicious and everybody got to eat plenty.
It was lovely getting hands-on experience of zong zi making, and we were impressed how well vegetarian visitors were acknowledged/catered for. The films offered a non-intrusive, but informative way to learn more about the dragon boat festival.
I learnt a lot about the Chinese traditions and cultures as everyone was very friendly and sociable. I invited some friends and they enjoyed the event too.
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