Pupils celebrate the year of the goat

Chinese New Year celebrations at Billingshurst Primary School SUS-151103-112257001
Chinese New Year celebrations at Billingshurst Primary School SUS-151103-112257001

For Chinese New Year, the Reception unit at Billingshurst Primary School was awash with red and gold, traditionally considered signs of luck and wealth in China, as the children dressed up and watched the Wise Moves Dance company perform a handkerchief and scarf dance.

Originating in the North of China, the handkerchief and scarf dance is famous for the skill needed to complete the difficult moves. It is one of the most popular types of art among ordinary people in their daily lives and has spread all over China.

After watching the dancers, the children were invited to join in, followed by a very noisy dragon dance, which proved popular mainly because of the drumming. The dance is an important part of Chinese culture as it helps to ward off evil spirits for the coming year and the louder the drum, the better the effect. It looks set to be a prosperous year ahead!

As part of the celebrations, pupils spent two days learning about Chinese culture, tasting food, learning to count up to 10 and to write the characters for each of the 12 zodiac animals.

Mrs Walker, Early Years Foundation Stage Leader comments: “The children have experienced a wonderful few days learning about another culture and have been enthralled by the performers who did the most beautiful handkerchief and scarf dance. Only by experiencing the sounds, sights and tastes of other countries can children begin to understand what these events really mean to those cultures.”

One in every six people in the world celebrates Chinese New Year. Although customs vary the main idea is to remember family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year.

Report by Kate Clifford on behalf of the BPSCA. Pictures contributed.