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Dumplings and Pandas -- Glimpses of A Special Spring Festival at Hove Park School

Pandas bring the red paper-wallet

Making the Chinese Dumpling

Learning the Taichi Fan

Students from Hove Park School enjoyed a very special and entertaining Chinese New Year together with the teachers from the Confucius Institute.

The activities were set off by the Chinese performances performed by the Chinese New Year Celebration Troupe from Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The students from both Hove Park School and Benfield Junior School were mesmerized by the traditional Chinese performance such as the Lion dance, Taichi fan, Chinese Kongfu, handkerchief dance and the Tibetan folk dance. Many participated in the interactive section and tried, for themselves, to spin the handkerchief and to learn the routines of Chinese Kongfu!

During the two weeks of the Chinese Spring Festival, the students had special Chinese lessons where details of the Spring Festival were presented to them by means of carefully prepared powerpoint, vivid story-telling and real-life footage of past Spring Festival shared by the teachers. A Spring Festival display board was set up in the corridor for the students to learn more about the joyous occasion. Special activities were arranged for the children to take part. Year 7s all took home a Chinese New Year picture which they colored themselves. Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 students all enjoyed using the Chinese brush for the first time in their life and drew a panda! The teachers prepared Chinese red paper-wallet in which a one-yuan note carefully stowed as a prize for the best works, which the students thoroughly loved. Knowing that the red paper-wallets symbolize the teacher’s best wish to them for the New Year, they treasured them. Some children even expressed their thanks to the teachers though they haven’t won a prize themselves! “I love the Spring Festival!” said one of them.

Chinese elements could be seen everywhere on the campus throughout the celebration. Even the canteen was decorated with Chinese lanterns and posters on a special Chinese-food day. Two special cookery lessons were arranged for the food technology class where the teachers and the students made dumplings together. Considering how complicated the procedure is, it was a real feat that every child was able to make and boil some dumplings by the end of the class. Some even took some home for their parents to try!

To quote one of the students : “Chinese Spring Festival Rocks!” which is perhaps the best sum-up of this past Spring Festival at Hove Park School.