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Central Magnet School teacher Jay Tang demonstrates a Shaolin style of martial arts. Tang’s family lives in China, so he is celebrating the new year’s holiday with his students at school by decorating the classroom.

Dancers from University of Memphis moved across the courthouse lawn performing a traditional dragon dance Feb. 9 to celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Boar during Boro Art Crawl.

“Traditionally China was an agricultural society so farming was the main industry, let’s say, 5,000 years ago,” said Dr. Mei Han, director of The Center for Chinese Music and Culture. “This is the beginning of the new year, and that is also a time for family to get together, very much like Christmas.”

Traditionally celebrations include lots of food (especially fish), red decorations like lanterns and banners, and prayers for a prosperous year ahead. In addition to the dragon dance, the Friday night events featured Chinese music, martial arts demonstrations and an art exhibition at The Center for the Arts.

Xei Weiqiang’s classical Chinese paintings portray the harmony and balance of nature through images of birds and flowers. He uses traditional Chinese brush strokes, but employs Western methods to add dimension.

“You can see some of the colors on some of them are particularly enticing,” said art enthusiast John Smead, one of many who braved the cold weather to enjoy Weiqiang’s paintings. “The combination of color and detail, I think it’s extremely skilled work.”

If you missed out at the art crawl, the exhibit is open through the end of the month. The Center for the Arts will also host a Chinese brush stroke workshop with Dr. Guanping Zheng on Feb. 23. That evening, Wei Xiaodong and the MTSU Symphony Orchestra will perform “Butterfly Lovers Concerto” in the Wright Music Building.

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