Happy Chinese New Year!
We have been celebrating Chinese new year this week in Year One. Our shared text was a legend from China. We read about Nian, the New Year Monster, a story that is behind some of the new year traditions in China. In the legend, each new year a monster, Nian, would terrorise the people in a village by the sea. The people had to flee to the mountains each New year’s eve to hide from Nian. One year as they were preparing to leave an old man came to village and told them to put red paint on the doors, set off their fire crackers and make loud noises. They did this as the monster came and it was scared and ran away. They were happy as they now knew that bright lights, red colours and loud noises would keep the monster away.
Each New years eve the tradition remains of setting off firecrackers and fireworks, wearing red and putting up red decorations, and making noise.
We also watched a video about some Chinese children who talked about getting ready for Chinese New year. People give each other red packets with money inside, or messages of good luck. They clean the house and put up lanterns and red decorations for good luck. They wear new clothes for a fresh start. They eat 8 or nine dishes at a special family dinner, and eat oranges and dragonfruit.
We discussed the way different cultures celebrate New Year’s eve and other times in different ways. Elizabeth’s parents were kind enough to talk to us about New Years Eve in Venezuala. There, people have a big dinner with all the family before midnight on 31 December. At midnight, people eat 12 grapes, one for each month. Other traditions were that people try to wear yellow underwear for good luck (this of course was very amusing for the children!), walk around the street with an empty suitcase, and try to keep money in their hands.
On Friday we celebrated Chinese New Year. We hung up the red lanterns we had made, decorated with gold. We wrote messages of good luck to each other and put them inside hand-made red packets. We handed each other the packets with two hands as is customary, and wished each other good luck before eating some oranges and fortune cookies! I tried to get some dragonfruit for the students to try but the shops had all sold out!
Friday saw our last day of swimming lessons. Congratulations Year Ones for your efforts over the last two weeks.
In Religion we have been learning about how we all grow and change. Around Ash Wednesday we talked about Lent, and what we can give up in this special time. It would be great if you could talk with the students about what they can give up for Lent.
We finished off our descriptions of Hattie the hen and also our torn-paper pictures of Hattie. They look great!
In the workshop, some of our eager technicians were able to find the paper jam that had broken the printer. Unfortunately all the screws were misplaced so it couldn’t be put back together! Another discovery of blue, yellow and red film deep inside the CD printer was very exciting!
In a quiet moment we had the blocks out to complete an engineering challenge; who can build the tallest tower using only 1 block at the base? This proved to be trickier than it sounds!
Have a great weekend!