The Chinese New Year is an increasingly popular festival to celebrate, and is of course immensely popular in China where everyone celebrates with family and friends. The children love all the animals; the animal zodiac and of course the Dragons! The idea of chasing away the negative old, dusty, dead bits of our lives to make way for the new is something to which we can all relate; a complete ‘refresh’ of our lives both internally and externally.
In class 2 & 3 we celebrated by making dragon and horse collages, writing Happy New Year and Good Luck in Chinese characters, making lanterns with glass paints, dressing in red and gold and sharing a Chinese Feast eaten with red chop sticks! We learned a Chinese New Year song and sang it with accompanying percussion and drums. The children wrote on a piece of gold paper something they would like to leave behind and we ‘burned’ the papers in a symbolic fire. Then they all lit a lantern with the thought of what they would like to develop in the New Year.
Alongside Imbolc and Candlemas, which also celebrate the beginnings of the New Year cycle of nature, this really seemed to work for the children and was much enjoyed by us all. The children’s art work was taken to the Cragg Vale Residents Association Meeting to decorate the venue and was much appreciated.