On Friday the 12th February we celebrated Chinese/Lunar New Year. As a culturally diverse school we acknowledged this occasion by inviting all students who were celebrating to wear traditional cultural dress on this day.
The acknowledgement of Chinese/Lunar New Year, and indeed all celebrations relevant to our school community are important to us. It is through these celebrations that our children understand the diversity of our school and deepen their cultural understanding of one another. All classrooms across the school took part in a discussion which focused on the origin of Chinese New Year, in particular the ‘Legend of Nian’.
Chinese New Year has many different stories around it.
Here is one....
The Legend of Nian.
There was once a monster named Nian. Nian lived in the water almost all year, but came on shore once a year to eat villagers and livestock. Therefore, on New Year’s Eve, the villagers would flee to the mountains to avoid being eaten. All the villagers lived in fear until an old man visited the village. He refused to live in the mountains and scared away the monster by putting red papers with lucky Chinese characters on all the village doors. He also lit bamboo sticks, which was also the invention of fire crackers. The loud sounds scared Nian away. He then wore red. When the villagers returned, they were very surprised that the village was neat and no livestock were eaten. They were extremely surprised to find the old man still in one piece. He then told them the following:
The villagers did as the old man said every New Year’s Eve and the monster Nian never showed up. These traditions have been performed till present and are a vital part of celebrating Chinese New Year.
As the year progresses, we will continue with the theme of ‘Origins’ as we recognise other celebrations that are significant to our school community.