2 March 2021
Lunar New Year, commonly known as "Chinese New Year" is actually celebrated in multiple countries including Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and more.
The Chinese zodiac, or Sheng Xiao (生肖), is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs and their ascribed attributes, based on the lunar calendar. In order, the zodiac animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, marks the transition from one animal to the next. This year 2021 is the year of the Ox!
As a multi-cultural centre, we celebrate inclusion and support the many different cultures and diverse learners within our centre. This is an integral part of our practice, which is why we love to embrace these special occasions throughout the year. It is the perfect opportunity for the children and their families to contribute their own personal traditions, values, beliefs and to feel a sense of belonging within Treetops.
Most families celebrate Lunar New Year, by decorating their house with red 福 (Fu) banners hanging from the windows. Families will make sticky rice cakes, set off firecrackers, serve dumplings, and send greetings to loved ones (Gong Xi Fa Cai). At Lunar New Year, it is tradition to give the gift of a bright, beautiful red envelope (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) to your friends and family which symbolises good wishes and luck for the new year ahead.
Here at Treetops, we love to celebrate Lunar New Year by including as many of those features as possible. Leading up to the New Year celebrations we will decorate the centre with traditional banners and artwork, such as cherry blossom trees and lanterns to decorate the rooms.
On the day of celebration, the whole centre will dress in stunning traditional outfits and red attire. We believe that food is a big part of a culture which is why we like to adapt our children’s menu on that day accordingly, including rice cakes and dumplings. We even get the children involved by making the dumplings from scratch with and alongside the children.
The children especially enjoy engaging in crafts, usually in line with the zodiac animal for that year. One year we even had a goat come in and visit us! We end our day by gifting the children with a red envelope (紅包, hóngbāo) to take home, sending them well wishes and good luck for the year ahead.
The atmosphere is always radiant, and that is thanks to our children, teachers and families who share their contributions to making this a very special day for everyone!
祝你們 牛轉乾坤 好運旺旺
恭喜恭喜(Gong Xi Gong Xi) which means "wishing you all the best for the year ahead."