We learned the story of “ Nian 年 ” 。
Every year, the horrendous monster 年 (Nián) would terrorize villages. It would eat everything, from mosquitoes to human beings.
As time went on, the villagers realized that the monster came every 365 days to wreak havoc before disappearing back into the forests.
So the villagers decided that they would prepare a feast and dine before the ancestors for protection.
After years of hiding like this, a young villager came up with the idea to use firecrackers and scare the monster away once and for all, such goes the legend of the origin of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival.
Because the purpose was to scare off Nian and prevent it from returning, the holiday decorations are typically bright and red, and the firecrackers are loud.
The color red is much loved by the Chinese in general, as it represents happiness and good fortune.
So our students also made traditional decorations such as lanterns and Lucky red items.
Students also learned the Chinese Zodiac and a historical Chinese story “花木兰 Hua Mu Lan”.
The Chinese zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao or Shu Xiang, features 12 animal signs in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
This originated from ancient zoolatry and boasting a history of more than 2,000 years, it plays an essential role in Chinese culture.
The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in a cycle are not only used to represent years in China, but also believed to influence people’s personalities, careers, compatibility, marriage, and fortune.
This year is the year of the Ox. We also talked about their zodiac signs and learned how to say Happy New Year in Chinese.
After learning the story of Hua Mu lan, our G1 students created an exciting video called Mu lan.
Mulan with our Grade 1A and 1B students (a Chinese Class Project)
Hua Mu lan is a heroine who joined the army instead of her father and is described in a famous Chinese poem called Hua Mulan Ballad.
According to Mulan’s ballad, Khan of the northern dynasty ordered the recruitment of troops to prevent the invasion of nomads in Lulan.
Her father needs to fulfill his obligations. However, her father was too old to bear the pain and she had no brother to fight.
So Mulan decided to pretend to be a man and to join the army instead of her father.
For hundreds of years, Hua Mulan has been highly respected by the Chinese people as a brave and dutiful daughter.