It is very important for our young children to learn and understand about the different ways in which other people and other cultures celebrate.
At nursery we did lots of playing and learning about how Chinese people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year.
We learned that Chinese New Year is an important festival in the Chinese calendar, sometimes called Spring Festival and that this year in the year of the Monkey.
Learning such as this raises the children's awareness and acceptance of what, how and why other people celebrate. It puts our own cultural identity and celebrations into context and increases the children's knowledge about other cultures.
In nursery we looked at some of the characters used in Chinese writing and had a go at copying some of them on the mark making table. The characters of written Chinese are very beautiful but quite difficult to copy! We looked at some numbers written in Chinese. These were kindly written by one of the parents of two children who came to nursery in the last few years (thank you Mr Lin.)
We looked at the traditional clothes worn in China, listened to Chinese music, played and listened to different Chinese instruments, made our home corner into a Chinese restaurant and tried some Chinese food. Some of the children even tried to use chop sticks to eat with, instead of a knife and fork! We also learned how to say Happy New Year in the Chinese language of Mandarin, 'Kung hei fat choy.'
We watched a program about some Chinese children, who were celebrating Chinese New Year and learned about the lucky red envelopes that they receive and a celebratory dance that they do called the Dragon Dance then at the end of the day we did our very own Dragon Dance to the special Dragon Dance music. All the children waved streamers that we had made and played instruments, as the Dragon danced through nursery...Wow! What a spectacle!