Our Prep Reception class recently celebrated Chinese New Year, a 15-day festival that begins with the new moon that occurs between January 21 and February 20.
The children were intrigued learning about the Great Race. This fascinating story tells of how long ago in China, the Jade Emperor decided there should be a way of measuring time. On his birthday he told the animals that there was to be a swimming race, and the first 12 across the fast flowing river would be the winners and each would have a year of the zodiac name after them.
The animals were the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and finally the boar and from that day, the Chinese Zodiac has followed this cycle of years named after animals.
During the Chinese New Year Celebrations, there’s a lamp festival, and the children had a go at creating their own magnificent lanterns.
Dragons also feature widely in celebrations as they are regarded as a symbol of good fortune, and the children created some fabulous creatures.
They also had a go at writing in Chinese – a fascinating language without an alphabet and where the same syllable can men mother, horse or curse, depending how you say it!