We welcome the opportunity to explore different cultural traditions in our own kindergarten way.
Kidsfirst Kendal Ave recently showcased some of the traditions associated with an important Chinese festival – Chinese New Year.
With it’s colourful dancing lion costumes, beating drums and bright lanterns Chinese New Year is the festival most loved and anticipated by young and old alike.
This Chinese new lunar calendar year sees in the year of the intelligent, mischievous monkey - one of the twelve animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao.
Kidsfirst Kendal Ave children, parents and whānau celebrated the Chinese New Year with traditional dancing, making brightly coloured lanterns, lion eyes and other festive decorations.
“The children were intrigued to watch films of the traditional lion dance costumes and performances,” says Teacher, Ngam Brown.
Traditionally two dancers parade as a lion, one to hold up the adorably oversized head and the other the body. With a flick of it's tail and a toss of it's head the lion weaves it's dance through the festival crowd, bringing goodwill and luck to all.
The children couldn't wait to try on their very own kindergarten lion costume! With a bob up and down and a prance all around they brought the lion to life, to the rhythmic sound of drums, gongs and cymbals.
For two new arrivals at Kidsfirst Kendal Ave, Korean girls Ahin and Dain Byun, the festivities were a chance to showcase their colourful, traditional outfits and share their culture with the other children.
“They both felt a real sense of belonging, proudly showing their outfits to their peers, the teachers and extended whānau,” says Ngam.
What a lively, energetic, colourful, fun festival... happy Chinese New Year!