Paper cutting: Students in Key Stage Three had the opportunity to learn jianzhi (剪纸 papercutting) during mandarin class. Students cut out characters and images that symbolized luck to stick on windows as ornaments. Apart from using them as decorations for the classrooms, papercutting is also believed to bring health, prosperity and luck to the New Year.
New Year’s wish: Chinese people regard the Chinese New Year as a time to say goodbye to the past and embrace the new coming year. As part of the Chinese traditions, people would make New Year’s wishes and resolutions. As for the secondary students, they learnt how to fold paper cranes which symbolizes luck in China, and wrote their new year’s wishes on it. Paper cranes are decorated all over our wishing trees in the foyer.
Blue and white porcelain: Qinghuaci, the blue and white porcelain – something that will definitely be brought up when China is mentioned. In some of Mandarin classes, students participated in activities where they could design their own blue and white porcelain plate.
Making dumplings: Making dumplings is an activity that students look forward to the most. This year, many students tried making dumplings in the kitchen with their classmates. It may look easy just to pinch the edges of a piece of dough together and make a perfect dumpling, but more skill is required than it seems.
Hongbao distribution: As we all know, Chinese give out hongbao (red packets) during Chinese New Year, where the elders give money in an envelope to the young as wish of luck. Now, it is also becoming a tradition at BISS Puxi. To spread the joy and happiness, the Mandarin department has organized to give every student a hongbao on the last day of school before the holidays begin, except that instead of money, we replaced it with chocolate coins.
For the second part of the hongbao distribution, some Year 7 students, led by one of our staff from the Chinese department – Big Li, walked around the school and gave a hongbao to every staff member that walked pass, including teachers, cleaners and security guards, etc.
Evening performance: A Chinese New Year performance was held in the secondary auditorium on Wednesday 3 February. Performances varied from fan dancing, to Bejing Opera, to drama plays and Guzheng playing. Students that performed were all outstanding on stage, full of confidence and pride, leaving a deep impression on all the audience.
Quiz: By the end of the week, a quiz would make a good start to the Chinese New year holidays. Guided by Ms. Sophie Yang and Ms. Leafy Yan, a few Key Stage Three students were involved in making a quiz that taught about and tested the students on Chinese culture that was later presented by two year 9 students in the auditorium. Students were given a set of ABCD cards each to answer questions, and everybody participating was full of enthusiasm.
Movie watching: Since 2016 will be the year of Monkey, Key Stage Three watched a newly released movie that was based on The Monkey King. Monkey King is the main character of one of China’s most well-known myths – The Journey to the West. The Monkey King symbolizes wisdom, courage, loyalty and passion. Whether these myths are true or not, it is up to our students to decide themselves after they have watched The Monkey Kind Returns.
The God of Prosperity: After enjoying the movie, three unexpected guests came into the auditorium to spread luck and fortune among the students. Thanks to Mr. Lancaster, Ms. McConnon and Mr. Rockford who were dressed up as the God of Prosperity, students were thrilled to see them and laughter filled the air.
Firecrackers watching: Just before students left for their buses, they gathered around the secondary gate and enjoyed the firecrackers. The Chinese believe that the color red represents luck and happiness, and the loud noises from the popping fire crackers will scare away the evil spirits and keep them and their family safe in the arrival of the New Year.
Meanwhile in primary, their Chinese New Year celebrations were a great success. Year 6 students showcased the Dragon Dance with Ms Jess and two students, officially opening the week-long celebration by delivering New Year’s greetings to our school community in beautiful Chinese.
Children were asked to create a 3D monkey as an optional homework project. A selection of the monkeys were chosen to be displayed in the primary foyer and the artist received a certificate from Ms Jess. We have been amazed by the imagination and creativity of the children. A variety of materials have been used and the children were very proud of their final products.
The LA’s workshops on Chinese culture immersed the students in different activities. The EYS children experienced Chinese culture through making/tasting traditional food such as dumplings, and learning fan-dance with their LAs. Year 1 and Year 2 made Chinese monkey masks and lanterns. Year 3 and Year 4 learned Chinese cooking with their LAs and made sweet and savoury dumplings and spring rolls.
They also played shuttlecock and practised by picking up marbles with chopsticks. Year 5 and Year 6 made posters to decorate their homes with the character Fu for good luck. Students also made wishes for the New Year by decorating the Wishing Tree.
The highlight of the celebration was no doubt the BISS Puxi Chinese New Year Evening Concert on the night of 3 February. Year 6 opened the show with their Dragon Dance and drum performance.
Year 5 presented a well-rehearsed Peking Opera song. It was a fabulous show enthusiastically received by our whole school community.
The school looks forward to the next Chinese New Year celebrations in 2017.