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Chinese New Year celebrations held to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year celebrations held to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit

As Lewis Carroll's White Rabbit might say "We're late, we're late! For a very important date!" which is particularly appropriate in this case, but in our opinion, it's never too late to share the excitement from our Chinese New Year celebrations in school - celebrating the 'Year of the Rabbit'!

So enthusiastic were we, that the Year of the Rabbit was celebrated in the Junior School ahead of the big day, with calligraphy, painting, dance and story telling with guests from the Cambridge Chinese Academy. A wonderfully ambitious assembly followed, with the whole junior school taking part to accompany the story of The Lunar New Year, either in song or with musical instruments. We encourage children to practice Mandarin Chinese with singing and it was invigorating to see Mandarin and Music working together at St Mary’s.

At the Mary Ward House, boarders took part in dumpling making (and tasting) and the evening meal, prepared specially for the occasion by the chef, Laith, was of course in honour of the New Year.

For the first time at St Mary's, a Chinese Tea Ceremony was held, courtesy of the Sixth Form International Committee. With  Fanping Kong-Friel, Mandarin Teacher, on hand to demonstrate the technique, and also the intricacies of the ceremony, tea was served using Fanping's own tea table and tea set.

Our thanks go to the committee, Charmaine H., Kasey Y. and Gaby C. for bringing alive an international custom in school, and to the two volunteers, Jana S and Sophie F., who learned how to make and serve the tea in keeping with Chinese tradition.

Sophie F. was keen to volunteer as she intends to study at SOAS University of London (School of Oriental and Africa Studies) and Jana enjoyed helping with the event because it was a new cultural experience and also because, as a good cup of tea does, it put such a smile on everyone's face.

Mandarin Chinese GCSE at St Mary's