Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) is one of the most important holidays in China and much of southeast Asia. Similar to Thanksgiving dinner in the United States, Chinese New Year’s Eve is a time for families to come together for a large meal. Some of the most powerful and impressive fireworks in the world are set off during the two week celebration. Schools, shops, and businesses frequently close for the duration of the festival. 2020 is the Year of the Rat, which is first in the rotation of the 12 zodiac signs and symbolizes renewal.

BASIS International Schools also get in on the fun with decorations around each campus and educational activities for students before the two week break. Read on for descriptions of activities at our schools and pictures of the beautiful decorations and activities at each location.

BASIS International School Nanjing

“To celebrate one of the most important festivals in China, early years and primary grades organized a series of activities both rich in content and entertainment. In the morning, grades 1-4 were combined to view a film on the history of Lunar New Year in the auditorium. After the film, students were separated among their houses–Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall–to enjoy a few additional activities. Each grade level rotated among four various activities; making paper lanterns, paper cutting, Chinese couplet character art and Kung Fu.

Chinese New Year lantern making

Chinese New Year calligraphy

The significance of each activity created awareness of the rich Chinese traditions through the arts. The paper lanterns are a symbol of booming life, family, and prosperous business.The art of paper cutting remains one of the most popular traditional arts in China; it is an expression of wishes and hopes.

Chinese New Year paper cutting

Chinese couplets is important because it is an expression of language. Pasting couplets expresses people’s delight in the festival and wishes for a better life in the coming year.

In addition, Kung Fu is known as a series of fighting styles which has developed over a long historical period in China. Although it is often known for its fighting styles, Kung Fu advocates virtue and peace, not aggression or violence.

Chinese New Year Kung Fu

Our students truly enjoyed the fun-filled day of learning Chinese traditions. The year of the rat is upon us! Happy Chinese New Year!”

Quinnesian Joyner, Dean of Kindergarten and Primary School, BASIS International School Nanjing

Chinese new Year lion dance

BASIS International School Nanjing students try out traditional lion dancing.

BASIS International School Hangzhou

“As the Chinese New Year approaches, the campus is surrounded in a lovely festive atmosphere. Teachers and students of all grades had fun in traditional crafts and activities, welcoming the arrival of the holiday! Paper-cut decoration, handmade lanterns and red packets, all the wishes and thoughts are in the little ones’ handcrafts, wishing everyone a very happy new year!

Chinese New Year young students

Chinese new Year crafts

On the last day before the holiday, our teachers were preparing a surprise for everyone–red packets filled with chocolate coins and a secret guest…the lovable and generous “Lord of Fortune” played by Elementary Humanities Subject Expert Teacher Ms. Thandiela Goldman! Accompanied by festive music and a dragon parade by the teachers, the “Lord of Fortune” entered every classroom and gave students the red packets.¬†

Chinese New Year lord of fortune

Ms. Goldman as the Lord of Fortune distributing gifts to the students.

Every student was delighted by the surprise! Let’s usher in the new year with big smiles and cheerful spirits. We wish everybody a happy new year and all the best!

– Linger Huang, Center for Student Excellence, BASIS International School Hangzhou

Chinese New Year Head of School

Head of School Alan Wilkinson also got into the spirit of Chinese New Year.

BASIS International School Shenzhen

The campus at BASIS International School Shenzhen was decorated in festive colors and shows the projects from students of all ages celebrating the Year of the Rat.

Chinese New Year BASIS International School Shenzhen

BASIS International School Guangzhou

BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour

Boarding students at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour enjoyed many fun activities, including mask painting, calligraphy, and Chinese traditional instrumental performances. Their artwork was also displayed around the campus.

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