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Celebrating Chinese New Year

26 January 2017

It hardly feels that we are back after the Christmas holidays before Chinese New Year is upon us and we are preparing for another holiday.  Learning why and how we can celebrate Chinese New Year is one of the many privileges our children have in attending our international school here in Shanghai.

  • Primary

This week the children have thoroughly enjoyed all the festivities.  Our reception area is looking impressively Chinese with lanterns, fans and dui lian decorating the space.  Many of you have stopped to take photos of the decorations. It is a shame they will eventually have to come down; I like the look!

 In Mandarin classes children have been learning from our staff all about the various rituals and legends associated with this special time of year. The stories about Chinese New Year have been enthralling them and helping them understand how legends have been such an important part of Chinese culture over the past centuries.

In classes our learning assistants have done a superb job of getting the children excited about their learning by leading a variety of craft activities. Many children must have been arriving home with interesting objects to share as I have been shown fans, paper cuttings and examples of Chinese calligraphy and art, to name but a few, all leaving the premises.

And today we all, as a whole school community, had the chance to dress up again.  We certainly laughed at some very strange roosters that appeared.  In the morning the drums beat and we watched in admiration when the dragon dance took place – this is a real highlight of our school year.

And through these events we are teaching children an appreciation of culture through our Chinese New Year celebrations.  It is an opportunity for them to learn and explore ideas about how tradition has shaped our world today, and how much we can still learn from the rituals and stories of the past. 

Again what a privilege it is for them, and us, to be able to do this first hand.

Xīn nián kuài lè

Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary

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