January 31, 2014 marked the first day of the Year of the Horse, heralding a year of strength and victory. According to Chinese astrology, there are 12 zodiac animals, which rotate each year by the lunar calendar. As it is tradition to share cultural diversity with the community, the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication will celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, the most important Chinese holiday, on Friday, Feb. 7 in Hamilton Hall. The celebration of Chinese New Year has been held in the Greenlee School since 2011, becoming one of the most popular activities in the school. Greenlee’s Chinese graduate students diligently prepare the events. This year’s program includes singing, dancing, a poetry recital, participatory games, along with hands-on Chinese cooking skills, all delivering a unique cultural experience not only to international students, faculty and staff at Greenlee, but also to the entire ISU community. Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School, initiated the first celebration in Greenlee School. “We celebrate Chinese New Year for a variety of reasons: to remind our international students that they have a temporary home here in Hamilton Hall, but also to expose all of our students to one of the world’s richest traditions, the various customs, arts, foods and festivities of this most important holiday,” he said. Bugeja also recognized the support from colleagues in other departments of ISU. “We use the occasion to reinforce our friendships and bonds, as is appropriate at the start of any new year, in the United States or China. The Greenlee School remains committed to ensure that our ties with both educators and students from Asia are strong, and we are stronger for it as a communication school.” Chen Liang, a first-year graduate student in Greenlee School, said this is his first year in the United States and also the first time he will celebrate the Chinese New Year without his family. "It is a surprise to me that I will have chance to celebrate such an important Chinese holiday with so many classmates and professors,” Liang said. There are 50 graduate students currently enrolled in the Greenlee School and over half come from China. Press release provided by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.