Every year, schools within the Wellington family celebrate Chinese New Year with a feast of colour, activity and fun. 2019, the start of the Year of the Pig, was no exception. Chinese New Year is the most important event in Chinese culture but is celebrated much more widely, across approximately 20% of the world, and is often also referred to as the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.
Wellington College China went all-out of course, turning the schools bright red with wonderfully vivid lanterns, streamers, banners and all manner of other decorations in the final week before the holiday. All the schools used their activities to raise money for local charities.
In Shanghai pupils put on a performance of Chinese stories and dances, with a focus in the older years of highlighting the great ethnic and cultural diversity of China. They also introduced a new event, The Temple Fair, which opened with professional dancers performing the lion dance and 1000-hand dance, and involved workshops and activities including making origami dragons and traditional New Year dumplings. To see how we celebrated in Shanghai, CLICK HERE.
At Hangzhou celebrations opened with a traditional Umbrella Dance by Years 5 and 6. The pupils, teachers, staff members and parents performed a fashion show, dressed in traditional attire from different eras of Chinese history. This was followed by a wide range of Chinese cultural activities, including a traditional tug-o-war! CLICK HERE to see more.
As our oldest International school, Tianjin has established many traditions in celebrating Chinese New Year. This year the highlight was a performance outside the school from the Tianjin Peking Opera Company. Each section of the school hosted New Year gala events, including multilingual speeches and shows, and a Mandarin writing competition. To watch a short film about how we celebrated Chinese New Year in Tianjin, CLICK HERE.
Wellington College International Bangkok also celebrated right across the school. Although not a public holiday in Thailand, up to 40% of the population have Chinese ancestry and New Year is widely marked. Pupils dressed in traditional costumes, and participated in magnificent displays of singing, music and performances, recreating the story of the animals of the zodiac.
And finally, to Wellington College in the UK. This year the whole school indulged in a delicious (and beautiful) Chinese lunch together in the Dining Hall, and the pupils from the Mandarin Department made a Happy New Year video, displaying their burgeoning linguistic talents! To watch them in action, CLICK HERE.
It is wonderful to see our schools sharing in this celebration together. Chinese New Year is an important global cultural event and a deeply personal, family tradition for so many of our pupils, staff and OWs across our family.
Happy Year of the Pig to all, and may the coming year only bring us all closer together!