EVENT: UCI will celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year – heralding the Year of the Dragon – with cultural games, hands-on arts and crafts, food, musical and dance performances, an academic discussion, a dragon parade, a lion dance and more.

WHEN/WHERE: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, with activities and performances beginning in the UCI Student Center’s Pacific Ballroom ABC (bldg. 113, grid D5 on campus map: https://parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-MainCampusMap-REV081120-23.pdf). A discussion with author and lawyer James Zimmerman on his book The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Center’s Moss Cove. The Lunar New Year Festival will start at 3:30 p.m. across the street (Pereira Drive) at the Irvine Barclay Theatre (bldg. 1, grid D5 on campus map).

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend should contact Cara Capuano at 949-501-9192 or ccapuano@uci.edu. Attendance is free and open to the public. Hourly parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure, located near the intersection of Pereira Drive and West Peltason Drive on campus. Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance. Information on the event can be found here: https://www.socsci.uci.edu/files/announcements/240205_lny/2024.html.


9-11 a.m. – Cultural activities and performances

UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom ABC

UCI’s Department of East Asian Studies hosts a variety of cultural activities, including origami, Chinese arts and crafts, a Japanese karuta game, kimono and hanbok try-ons, and traditional Korean games, followed by musical and dance performances by UCI student groups.

1-3 p.m. – Fireside chat with author James Zimmerman

UCI Student Center, Moss Cove

Join the UCI Long-U.S. China Institute for a fascinating discussion with author James Zimmerman, who will take the audience on a thrilling journey through his book The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China, the remarkable true story of train-robbing revolutionaries and passengers who got more than they bargained for.

3:30-6 p.m.* – Lunar New Year Festival

Irvine Barclay Theatre

*The feeding of the lions begins at 3:45 p.m.

UCI’s Lunar New Year Festival creates an atmosphere of pure enchantment, in which captivating performances and traditional customs come to life – from the enthralling dragon parade and lion dance to the cherished wishing tree; energetic beats of UCI Hansori, Hikari Taiko Drummers and KKAP UCI; and delicious food from local vendors. There will be welcoming remarks by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and Bill Maurer, dean of the School of Social Sciences, as well as a special event designation presented by California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

BACKGROUND: UCI’s Lunar New Year celebration is possible through the generous support of the UCI Long-U.S. China Institute and its partners – the School of Social Sciences, the School of Law and The Paul Merage School of Business – in concert with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the School of Humanities, the School of Social Ecology, UCI Libraries, the Center for Critical Korean Studies and the Department of East Asian Studies. Additional key sponsors include South Coast Plaza, Charlie and Ling Zhang, the Long Family Foundation, Eugene and Carol Choi, Disney, and the Office of Vice Chancellor Brian Hervey.


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