On Friday at school we celebrated the upcoming Chinese New Year. I'm already feeling very nostalgic about this being my last New Year in China, so this year I went outside to photograph the performers of our annual lion and dragon dance before it started and to try and get a front row seat. The performers were so friendly towards me and encouraged me to have some photos taken with them too.
Cue the main event! The school gather round to watch as first the dragon, and then the lions do their traditional dance. The movements are in rhythm with the beating of the drums and the noise of the dance and the scary gestures of animals are designed to scare away the monster Nian.
The performance always closes with the ceremonial painting on the lions eyes which symbolises the giving of life as the lions are now able to see. In other information that I have read online, the dotting of the eyes can also symbolise wealth for the new year as the Chinese word for eye jīng (睛）sounds like the word for gold jīn (金）.
After the performance the students, who had been encouraged to wear red or traditional Chinese clothing, were able to go and complete a variety of activities centred on Chinese culture and New Year customs. As you can see below there was the opportunity to play a chopstick game, paint lanterns, solve riddles, paint Chinese masks yummy sticky rice.
The Mandarin teachers and the local community centre did an amazing job in creating this special day for the students and staff. 谢谢 你们！
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 13 years. I qualified and started teaching in the UK, and I currently work at Shanghai Community International School, China. I have experience teaching GCSEs and IB DP and MYP. Find out more about me within these blog pages or below at Linked In.