Chinese New Year Celebrations at Wellington College Tianjin

From the Master
Julian Jeffrey

The dawn of the Year of the Rat not only marks the start of a new year, but also the start of the next twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. It is therefore a good time to take stock of our lives and perhaps make a commitment to something new. In school, for example, this is a chance for pupils to take on new challenges or activities. Wellington offers a host of such opportunities for fresh starts, and I hope that the new year brings with not just increased prosperity and happiness, but also the chance for those, like the rat arriving at the feast of the Jade Emperor, to seize the chance to take advantage that fresh year offers. I wish all our Wellington families a very happy new year.

As the Year of the Rat approaches, Wellington College Tianjin was well decorated for the Spring Festival. With the great support from our staff and pupils, the Mandarin Department successfully organized a series of activities presenting unique Chinese traditional culture to celebrate the Spring Festival. With the Wellington Values and Identities at the core of our celebrations,  pupils and staff expressed their enthusiasm and talent.

With different shows from the Nest, Junior School and Senior School. The performances were spectacular and our pupils and parents and staff watched and enjoyed the excitement and happiness of the Spring Festival.

Nest Chinese New Year Show

Junior School Chinese New Year Show

Senior School Chinese New Year Show

While some pupils expressed themselves on the stage, others picked up pens and showed their talents in Chinese writing with our annual Chinese Writing Competition, drawing the whole school’s attention. Both native and non-native speakers took part in writing about their dreams and best wishes for the future. Our Sports Department enjoyed playing traditional Chinese games with their pupils while others played tangram puzzles and enjoyed Chinese music during breaks between classes.

Activities in classrooms

The  Spring Festival Temple Fair was the highlight of the week. Each House ran their own stalls, pupils from Year 5 and 6 sold traditional Chinese calligraphy and paintings. The couplets and paintings on their stalls expressed their best wishes for the new year. What was very popular in the fair was the Tree of Wishes designed by teachers and pupils from the College’s Mandarin Magazine group. Pupils wrote down their wishes for the year of 2020 on cards and hung the cards on the Tree of Wishes. The pupils’ good wishes and smiling faces gave more warmth to the celebrations.

The College’s staff and pupils were not the only ones who participated in the Temple Fair,  artists from Tianjin Folk and Cultural Heritage Association joined our celebration with their various kinds of traditional crafts, providing our staff and pupils with a very special New Year gift: the sugar painting artist painted a beautiful goldfish with golden-coloured sugar; a symbol of good fortune, phoenix, appeared under the scissors of the paper cutting artist; an ordinary dough ball became magical by simply adding some colours and with a little pinch and press to it, the dough ball became the Monkey King, what magic sculpting in the artist’s hands. While enjoying the beautiful handicrafts by the artists, pupils also had a better understanding of Chinese traditional culture, and their passion to learn Mandarin in the upcoming new term was also inspired.

Alas, all things do come to an end as did, our annual Chinese Culture Week, but the atmosphere of the festival lives on in everybody’s heart. Our best wishes to you all for the Year of the Rat!