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Image showing Chinese lanterns and a rabbit on a red and purple background

We would like to wish all those preparing for and celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit a very happy and healthy New Year. A range of exciting celebrations will be taking place across the University and City to mark the special occasion.

Many of our college communities and student groups will be planning their own festivities over the next couple of weeks, as well as larger community events taking place across the city and at the University’s Oriental Museum through Durham Global Alliance, our collaboration with Durham County Council and other key local stakeholders.

Saturday 21 January will see a host of traditional events and activities across Durham City, including Calligraphy, Chinese language and storytelling, craft stalls for children, music and dance performances.

The Oriental Museum

A range of New Year celebrations are also taking place at our Oriental Museum, starting with an opportunity to help decorate the museum for the festivities by making Chinese lanterns and paper cuts on Saturday 21 January as part of the city-wide celebrations. 

On 5 February, the museum will host a beautiful lantern festival at a special one-off late-night opening. Visitors will have the opportunity to try fantastic crafts, see a traditional Korean drumming performance, sample delicious New Year snacks and take part in a lively retelling of the story of the Chinese Zodiac, the Great Race!

Visitors to the Oriental Museum can also enjoy the current exhibition Guardians of the Silk Road's Heritage: Women of the mountains of Central Asia, which showcases the work of the professional artists and craftswomen who do so much to preserve and transfer traditional knowledge and skills, adapting them for new audiences and popularising Central Asian folk art. Alongside photographs of the women practicing a variety of traditional craft techniques will be examples of their textile work.

Name the Dragons

As part of the Year of the Rabbit celebrations, the Oriental Museum is inviting visitors to help name the three dragons who call the museum home. Local teachers and school children have been invited to name the yellow dragon, with nursery children being offered the chance to name the smaller green dragon. The spectacular red dragon, which will be on display in the museum throughout the New Year celebrations, will be named by museum visitors. A shortlist of three names has been chosen, and visitors will vote for their favourite. The shortlisted names are Hongzhao 鸿昭 (meaning a person of great merit and with a bright future ahead), Hongyi 鸿熠 (meaning a person of greatness and sparkle) and Hanhan 晗晗 (meaning a new dawn). Watch our Durham University student volunteers talk about the three names, discover their meanings and vote for your favourite.

Durham Global Week

Following on from Year of the Rabbit celebrations, Durham Global Week will take place from 4-11 March with an inspiring mix of events focussing on different aspects of Durham’s global strengths including research and scholarly activity, languages and culture and global citizenship.

Many of the events will include external partners, eminent scholars and experts and other key stakeholders, whilst we’re also inviting staff and students to put forward their ideas for ‘open’ events.

The culmination of the week will be an awards evening to present the Durham Global Awards across nine categories including Global Curriculum, Global Student Experience and Global Volunteering.

International Partners and Global Alliance

We are proud to be a global university with staff and students from over 120 countries. As a global university we have many exciting international partnerships. Our partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences has already given rise to a successful webinar series entitled Knowledge Across Borders. The series covers subjects from palaeontology to astronomy, reflecting our joint commitment to stimulating new creative and political thinking.

We are also key partners in Durham Global Alliance, a partnership with Durham County Council, Culture Durham and others, which hopes to build on the many connections that already exist by bringing together organisations with a shared commitment to forging international friendships. Through DGA, partners will be able to coordinate activities more effectively and ensure the best use of combined resources, as well as being able to measure progress more comprehensively

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