Friday, 01 February, 2013 - Modified on Friday, 01 February, 2013 at 12:09 pm
Pupils and staff in the Kindergarten & Pre-Preparatory department at St. Dominic’s High School for Girls were rejoicing the Chinese New Year at school yesterday; all dressed in traditional Chinese costumes.
The children choreographed and performed a spectacular dragon dance under the supervision of Grace Tong who runs CultureKind, a not for profit community interest company who organise, and participate in Multi-cultural events. The dragon dance has been part of the Chinese culture for thousands of years and is performed on auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year, weddings, store openings, and other various festivals and celebrations. The dragon, a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune, chases away evil spirits and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck. The dragon dance is believed to brings prosperity and good luck to the business for the upcoming year.
Grace said,” Our objectives are to advance understanding and raise awareness of minority and British cultures, including languages and traditions and to foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds. Our dancing session today has given the children both a wonderful experience and has helped raise their self-confidence”.
Chinese New Year, also known as the spring festival, is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The spring festival celebrates the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing. New Year festivities start on the first day of the lunar month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. The first week is celebrated with visits to friends and family following special traditions designed to bring good luck. The second week ends with the Lantern festival on the evening of the 15th day of the lunar month.
Mrs Karen Grevett, Head of the Pre-Preparatory department said ”in our wonderful, multicultural society, it is important for all our pupils to develop a respect and understanding of the cultures and beliefs of others.” She continued “next week we will continue the celebrations with a Chinese banquet with chopsticks for the children to enjoy, the construction of Chinese lanterns and an exciting Chinese Dragon puppet show! As our children celebrate this special day of one of our nation’s cultural groups, they honour its people. All our young learners are included in the celebrations. Our children learn respect and appreciation of another culture and the Chinese New Year becomes a wonderful, memorable experience for all. It is wonderful seeing the children so engaged with the different activities. Kung Hei Fat Choy!”