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Chinese Spring Festival - Lunar Year of the Ox

Karen Smith

Each year pupils and staff embrace the celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival with a number of different events, including themed dishes on the menu in the servery and activities shared from some of our Chinese pupils of their culture and traditions from home. Sadly, this year celebrations could not take place in the usual way, but the whole community still enjoyed honouring this event virtually, exploring different aspects of Chinese culture to mark the beginning of the Lunar Year of the Ox.  

Each department provided interesting resources for pupils to enjoy learning more about, from Ancient Chinese History to inspirational Chinese Nobel Prize winning scientists, and What makes the Great Wall of China so extraordinary? to the life and challenges faced by a professional Chinese figure skater. Chinese pupils were also involved in sharing videos of themselves playing traditional Chinese instruments, teaching the class how to say a few words in Mandarin and Ms Shao shared her soothing video of a traditional tea ceremony. Embracing the technology during the lockdown, Headmaster Ben Vessey recorded a special greeting in Mandarin wishing all our Chinese pupils a Happy New Year, Lower Sixth pupil Cici recorded a video of herself playing the liuqin and a member of the sports centre staff recorded two short videos of taster sessions of Tai Chi and Qi Gong.  Those Chinese pupils onsite were treated to a weekend cookery session with Ms Shao making dumplings.

Pagan Bishop, International Pupil Co-ordinator, commented:

“The Chinese Spring Festival is an event that the Canford Community enjoys celebrating each year and the challenges faced this year didn’t deter our celebrations. It is important our Chinese pupils get the opportunity to honour their traditional festival, and it is a great opportunity for our non-Chinese pupils to learn about Chinese culture. There is always genuine enthusiasm from pupils across the school, with our Chinese pupils proud and excited to share their stories and cultural differences.  There is a pastoral element to the celebrations as well.  While the numbers of pupils from Asia is relatively low at Canford by comparison with other boarding schools in the UK, it was wonderful for them to experience a little bit of home, and especially this year as many have not been able to travel back to China to celebrate with their families due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Thank you to everyone involved in making this celebration happen virtually, and we look forward to celebrations in 2022 together once again.”