It was a very exciting time in the Lower Elementary classrooms last Friday, which marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year: 2017, Year of the Rooster. Staff were able to keep much of the celebration a surprise to the children, making the party extra special.
While the children enjoyed some (rather cold) outdoor time after lunch and recess, Directresses and Assistants worked hard to ready the classrooms with Chinese New Year decorations and Chinese culture items in general. Ms. Sophie did a wonderful job setting up a special surprise Kung Fu presentation by Mr. Qi Xing, who is from China and has practiced Kung Fu for over 30 years.
The children were treated to the traditional Chinese New Year story of Nian; the highlight being Directress Anna Schwind reading a page in English, followed by Jie Zheng’s reading in Mandarin. The children were absolutely captivated by the version in both languages!
Soon after the reading, the surprise of the Kung Fu presentation was revealed. Clearly, these children were beyond excited!
Mr. Qi Xing, who is a 32nd generation of disciples of Shaolin Temple in China, is particularly good at Shaolin boxing, Shaolin sword, and hard Qi Gong. He has earned many domestic and international Kung Fu Championships, and is now operating Qi Master at Kung Fu School in St. Louis. What an honor it was to see his presentation!
When Mr. Xing asked for volunteers, the hands shot right up!
After the presentation, Ms. Sophie discussed some traditions of the Chinese New Year before the children went on to do crafts having to do with the new year. Some favorites were coloring pages, paper fortune-tellers, and pop-up dragons. The staff really went all out with this one!
The last part of the celebration was the food! Children enjoyed lotus candy, oranges, vegetarian spring rolls, dumplings, and fortune cookies.
Happy Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster!