Spring Festival


Spring Festival

A gold horizontal flourish

 Saturday 17 February 2024


  At the Weston Library

  Free, just drop in!

About the event

Celebrate the Spring Festival with Chinese New Year-inspired activities at the Weston Library, including lantern making, calligraphy, and dance. Discover highlights of the Bodleian’s Chinese collections in a family-friendly ‘show and tell’ talk.

Visitors of all ages can try creative and interactive activities, supported by students and volunteers, including:

  • decorate a lantern to take home for the Lantern Festival
  • learn and play Chinese games
  • practise the art of calligraphy
  • draw dragons with artist Dr He (1pm)

Recommended age for activities: 4+

Talks and demonstrations

11.15 – Discover the Yijing (Book of Changes) with Professor John Lai

Professor Lai will give a talk for adults on "Flying Dragon in the Heavens: The Sublimity of the Hexagram Qian (The Creative) of The Book of Changes".

12.00 – Divination demonstration

Professor Lai will demonstrate the traditional process of divination with yarrow stalks (筮草). A fortunate visitor will be offered an opportunity for divination using this traditional method.

12.30 – Chinese collections ‘show and tell’ (Chinese language version)

13.30 – Dance and musical performances by PhoenOx Chinese Dance Society and the Oxford Chinese Orchestra

14.30 – Chinese collections ‘show and tell’ (English language version)


Dr Mamtimyn Sunuodula is Head of East Asia Section and HD Chung Chinese Studies Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries. He works closely with students, scholars and local communities to bridge the Chinese historical collection with everyday life, focused on integrating these historical treasures seamlessly into the broader cultural landscape.

Professor LAI Tsz Pang John is from the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests focus on religion and literature in China, as well as Global Yijing (Book of Change) Studies.

Dr Weimin He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the Chinese Artists’ Association. Working as an artist-in-residence at the Green Templeton College, Oxford University, Dr He has woven an exquisite narrative of art and innovation into the historical observatory site of Oxford. 

Oxford University PhoenOx Chinese Dance Society (PhoenOx) is the first Chinese Dance society at the University of Oxford. PhoenOx was founded in 2020 by Nadja Yang, who has a deep passion for both dance and Chinese culture. The dance society holds regular dance rehearsals every week and regularly performs at major events and shows in Oxford, allowing PhoenOx's dancers to shine brightly in the collision of Eastern and Western cultural exchanges.

Oxford Chinese Orchestra (OCO) was founded in 2022 by a group of Oxford University students with a common passion for traditional Chinese music. OCO plays a range of traditional and popular music, featuring Chinese musical instruments such as GuZheng, ErHu, DiZi, ZhongRuan, and PiPa. OCO has performed at the Oxford Chinese New Year Gala, Oxford Union, and busked in the Oxford city centre.


Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.


The Bodleian Libraries Learning Programme is generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust:

The Helen Hamlyn Trust logo

Other events you might be interested in

A gold horizontal flourish