The first half of the Michaelmas Term and the new academic year has gone by with the usual lightning speed after pupils, parents and teachers at Wellington all settled back into the school routine following the summer break. This half of the term was capped off by Wellington pupils enjoying the Mid-Autumn Festival as Shanghai and the rest of China came together for a period of thanksgiving, celebration and reflection.
The festival is not only a chance for pupils to enjoy a generous splash of colour and excitement, it’s also a great opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of China’s storied culture and heritage in a fun, relaxed and light-hearted manner. It’s now a firmly established tradition at Wellington to celebrate major Chinese festivals with a host of themed lessons, activities and treats, which all help to mark the importance of the occasion while reinforcing the importance of inclusivity and cultural appreciation.
Firstly, pupils showed off their artistic talents by designing and sharing some inspired Mid-Autumn Festival greetings cards during their Chinese lessons. Ranging from tranquil autumnal nature scenes to riotously colourful bursts and plenty of delicious-looking moon cakes, their wonderful designs can be seen pinned up on the Chinese department’s display board and all over its classrooms.
In the Pre-Prep School, a whole day of festival-themed activities was organised for the pupils. Led by Dolly Yang the pupils engaged with the history and lessons of the Mid-Autumn Festival through storytelling, bookmaking, handicraft sessions (including the creation of the delightful greetings cards) and, perhaps most popular of all, making moon cakes. These seasonal treats are an unmistakeable icon of the lunar celebrations and their increasing global appeal has helped spread the enjoyment and appreciation of the festival far beyond China, reaching across Asia and even back to the US and UK.
Due to the international nature of Wellington and the cultural diversity of its pupils, parents and teachers, celebrations and observances like the Mid-Autumn Festival are very important dates in our annual calendar. Much like Chinese New Year or the Christmas concerts, they represent an invaluable opportunity for the entire Wellington community to come together, celebrate our diverse backgrounds and instil within all pupils a greater respect and appreciation of Chinese culture.