In the Chinese language dust and old have the same pronunciation. It’s a fitting tradition, then, that during the Chinese New Year celebration houses are cleaned to bid farewell to the past and embrace the future. This is one of the many fun facts I learned during a recent visit to Indiana’s historic state house. Now through October 21, a colorful and free exhibit about the Chinese New Year, now commemorated as the Spring Festival, is on display.
More than two dozen sculptures, paper art works, toys and other artifacts are showcased. Informative panels chronicle the history of the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival and explain some of the rituals and beliefs associated with it—from dragons to dumplings. Did you know, for instance, that the Chinese were the first to recognize the concept of a year? Or that a carrot is good luck and that a popular delicacy during Spring Festival is the spring roll. Chinese lanterns and screens adorned with delicate paper cuttings called window flowers are other exhibit highlights.
The exhibition gives visitors rare insight on the heritage and culture of the Chinese people. It was made possible through a partnership between the Office of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and the Confucius Institute at IUPUI.
The Capitol is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm and on Saturday for tours. The public entrances are on the east side (upper level) and west side (lower level). Please note that visitors are required to pass through metal detectors and bags are subject to inspection. More information on hours and access is available here. The exhibit is located on the fourth floor.
It’s free and it’s new. Check it out before it’s gone.