Good luck comes with spring, the tiger babies are welcoming the new year
“Children don’t you admire, the Laba is years.” A well-known nursery rhyme opens the prelude to the most important traditional festival of the Chinese – ‘Nian (Spring Festival)’! Preparing New Year’s goods, sweeping the house, hanging lanterns, displaying Spring Festival couplets, setting off firecrackers, making dumplings, offering sacrifices to ancestors, welcoming the God of Wealth, worshiping relatives, visiting temple fairs – these are indelible marks on the heart of every Chinese, and it is also a good time for children to have fun. Although the sudden outbreak of Covid19 made the ancient city of Xi’an press the pause button, it could not stop the enthusiasm of the ‘Little Tigers’ of XLIS to welcome and celebrate the new year. See, our Primary School Chinese Department 2022 Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration is now on air!
Activity 1 – Watch the Chinese “Nian Culture” promotional video online
Among Chinese folk, the most profound and widespread culture is the “Nian Culture”. In this grand festival, people’s clothing, food, housing, transportation, speech and behavior, really everything in life, are full of the content, meaning and spirit of the “Nian”. XLIS students come from more than 40 countries and regions in the world. The long-standing Chinese “Nian Culture” has deeply attracted them and sowed the seeds of cultural identity in their young hearts. In the future, they will also bring this ancient and magical oriental culture to the world.
Activity 2 – “New Year’s Customs Stories” short video exhibition
Stories are the window for children to understand the world. Chinese New Year’s stories are not only interesting, but also contain the endless national spirit and express people’s yearning and pursuit for a better life. The children of XLIS are good storytellers! Through active participation and careful preparation, with the assistance of their parents, they filmed a series of short videos with touching New Year stories: drinking Laba porridge, fighting the New Year beast, and offering sacrifices to the kitchen lord. They also welcomed the God of Wealth and ate sticky rice dumplings. The wonderful performances of the young talents received much applause from the students during the online class.
Activity 3 – Guessing lantern riddles and quiz games on New Year’s customs
Guessing lantern riddles is a fun and popular cultural way for Chinese people to celebrate the New Year. The riddles posted on the lanterns not only inspire wisdom but also highlight the festive atmosphere. Therefore, as soon as the activity was released, it aroused enthusiastic responses among XLIS students. As teachers were busy making the lantern riddle games, the children were busy collecting all kinds of lantern riddle knowledge, so that they can show their skills in the online class. The non-native students also had their own quiz game about their knowledge of Chinese New Year. They came prepared and eager to try, and their knowledge of Chinese New Year was praised by the teachers.
Activity 4 – New Year’s Customs Handicraft Competition
Montessori, an Italian educator, said: “If I see it, I forget; If I hear it, I remember it; If I do it, I understand it”. XLIS has always placed value in the cultivation of students’ hands-on and practical abilities. This New Year’s Customs Handicraft Competition has not only developed the children’s hands-on ability and stimulated their interests of life affairs, but also allowed them to learn about China’s colorful New Year’s custom of handicraft arts. Due to the epidemic situation, the children used the materials they had at home to make lanterns, dough sculptures, window decorations, Spring Festival couplets, and food. Some students watched the tutorial and made the items by themselves. Each piece of carefully handmade work has witnessed the ingenuity and infinite creativity of children!
The most meaningful part of this online activity is the recording and broadcasting of a video with “New Year’s Wishes”, created by our non-native speakers. With Chinese New Year approaching, these children from all over the world expressed their blessings to their relatives and friends and their expectations for a new life in Chinese. It’s a deep integration of culture.
The week-long Chinese Lunar New Year Online Celebration for Primary School Chinese Department has come to the end! In this activity, PYP students reinforced their understandings of Chinese culture, gained skills, experienced happiness, and inspired their love for traditional Chinese culture! When the old year is over, the plague is eliminated, and when the new year arrives, the tiger roars! I wish the “Little Tigers” of XLIS strength in the new year, and that they will continue to improve a lot! Hope we can meet each other at school again soon!
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Nancy Jing (Head of Primary Chinese Language)