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Chinese New Year - year of the tiger

Chinese New Year Celebration at Newton College 2022

On Friday 17th of December students of the Chinese community from Y11 and Y12 received the message to celebrate CNY at school. We were given the chance to organise the whole festival. To celebrate Chinese New Year, we have organised several activities such as decorating the dining room, making dumplings in the cookery and different handcrafts to do at NuCLEuS.

The reason for not having an exact day for CNY is because China has a different calendar to the rest of the countries. The Chinese calendar, also called the lunar calendar, is said to have existed since the Xia Dynasty and is determined according to the cycle of the moon around the earth. A cycle is a month, usually of 29 or 30 days. CNY is on the first day of the lunar month and it lasts for 15 days. The advantage of this calendar is that it is intuitive, and the change of the month can be judged according to the change of the moon’s circle. However, the disadvantage is that it cannot be stably combined with the cycle of the earth around the sun.

After, we have the zodiac which was an ancient belief system that was considered as a tool for determining a person’s destination. Following the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the plan is based on a 12-year cycle in which each new year is represented by one of the 12 zodiac signs (shēng xiào, 生肖). Our country traditionally uses the twelve zodiac signs to mark the birth year of a person. If someone was born in the tiger year, the year of the tiger would be that person’s natal year.

The animal (zodiac) of this year is the tiger. Therefore, the students in Y7 had the opportunity to make dumplings at the cookery, as it is their natal year.

In order to make this special day more interesting, we have decided to introduce the Chopsticks Challenge. We gave the option to use chopsticks for the students at lunch time. It was impressive to see that there were more students that knew how to use chopsticks than we expected and we were really happy to see that there were a lot of children who chose to accept the challenge. To create a better environment for the challenge, we decorated the dining room, on the 31st in the morning, with lanterns and blessing posts.

During this CNY (Chinese New Year) committee sessions that we have gone through from the 17th of December all the way to this day, what we know as the 31st of January, we have to say that the whole process has been extremely pleasing and ultimately useful for all of us to take part in and to know more about Chinese culture.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity.

Chinese New Year Committee

  • CRISTINA CHEN,
  • JIAJIE HU
  • DING HAO HUANG WU
  • XINYUAN LUNA PAN ZHOU
  • YU FEI WONG LU
  • HONGYAN YE
  • KEVIN ZHENG
  • CANDELA SERRANO LOPEZ
  • YATING LIAO
  • XIA ZHOU
  • JIA JIA JIANG
  • XIAO LIN