Chinese New Year is one of the biggest holidays of the year in China. A time filled with tradition, family, legend, and history, it is also a wonderful opportunity to incorporate Chinese culture throughout our school communities for both students and teachers. At every one of our campuses in China, Chinese classes looked at different aspects of traditional Chinese celebrations, history, and culture; staff and students decorated the campus; and everyone enjoyed immersing themselves in the rich history and culture of China.

Each campus enjoyed their own unique Chinese New Year celebrations. Let’s see what they did!

BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour

Chinese classes at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour used the holiday to make traditions and lessons come alive with the theme of “Enjoy the New Year” to create a happy and festive atmosphere.

Chinese New Year decor at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour

Middle school classes engaged in activities including learning about the ancient Chinese calendar and then making their own unique calendar for the upcoming Year of the Tiger, creating three lines poetry, and imagining their own Chinese New Year fairy tales and myths–creating a new world with a tiger as the main character. High school students created Chinese knots with red ropes, and other folk culture activities. It also wouldn’t be the Spring Festival without writing couplets. We will continue to explore, learn, and celebrate Chinese culture throughout the Year of the Tiger!

Creating a calendar

Tying Chinese knots

Writing couplets

BASIS International School Guangzhou

Chinese New Year decor at BASIS International School Guangzhou

At BASIS International School Guangzhou, Chinese traditional clothing and architecture took center stage in class. Students learned about not only the practical functions of traditional Chinese clothing, but also how the clothing symbolized people’s social status during each dynasty. They then conducted their own further research into traditional clothing, including uniforms and wedding clothes, clothing of ethnic minorities and Chinese traditional accessories.

When learning about traditional Chinese architecture, a wonderful starting place is Liang Sicheng’s A Pictorial History of Chinese Architecture, which provides an introduction to the practical, political, and aesthetic nature of Chinese architecture. Ancient Chinese architects had a preference for timber framework and rammed earth structure, with elements of Confucianism embodied in key features of Chinese architecture, such as symmetric palaces and buildings with varying heights. Students then made models and presentations about one of the five types of traditional Chinese architecture–palaces, houses, temples, pagodas, and gardens.

BASIS International School Nanjing

Chinese New Year decor at BASIS International School Nanjing

Performances from students of all grade levels rang in the Chinese New Year at BASIS International School Nanjing. Early Childhood students displayed their skills in lion and dragon dancing, primary students performed songs, dances and poetry recitations–bringing good New Year wishes to everyone. For the Upper School, members of the Student Senate helped to organize and edit a New Year blessing video, then the student choir and school band presented a series of bilingual musical selections to blend modern and traditional Chinese elements together.

BASIS International School Hangzhou

The Chinese New Year Poem Fair had students reciting poems they had learned during their month of preparation leading up to the event. The fair also included several different forms of competitions to test the students’ comprehension of Chinese poetry. Multiple rounds of games rounded out the event with word puzzles, quick response questions, and paring poems.

BASIS International School Shenzhen

In primary classes, traditional Chinese activities helped students deepen their understanding of, and appreciation for, their culture and heritage. Students learned about the cultural background and meaning of the colors used on Beijing opera masks–then used their newfound knowledge to create their own. They also enjoyed many fun traditional activities in class, such as paper-cutting, lantern-riddle guessing, and couplet writing.

The BASIS International School Shenzhen library also got involved in the Chinese New Year festivities with a new exhibition titled “New Year, New Books.” The library also hosted after-school activities including showing a series of Chinese New Year videos, and an origami tiger bookmark activity.

BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen

The Year of the Tiger is particularly special for BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen, because the tiger is the school mascot! Students participated in traditional crafts such as lantern making, couplet writing, and traditional Chinese games such as the pitch-pot game. Grade 4 students even held an activity where they performed historical stories as short plays. Everyone left for the holiday on a good note, ready to enjoy the festival and continue learning in the new year!

Happy Chinese New Year from BASIS International Schools!

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