Learning about Chinese New Year in Pre-School

In Gan Keshet this week, we’ve been listening to Chinese folktale stories such as how the Chinese Zodiac came about (through a great race) and how the Chinese New Year celebrations came about. We are also using Art to reinforce the children’s understanding and encourage discussions. This led to a group and individual art project involved creating a Chinese dragon (which can be found on the wall outside our room). Chinese dragons are a symbol of China’s culture and they are believed to bring good luck to people. It is believed that the longer the dragon is in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. We experimented painting on a large piece of paper, first using brushes, before painting with our feet (and bottoms!)

Our individual art project involved creating a Chinese lion’s face. Chinese lions are a symbol of power, wisdom and good fortune. During Chinese New Year celebrations, lion dances are performed to chase away evil spirits and bring forth good luck.

Today at group time, we watched a video of how a little girl celebrates Chinese New Year with her family. We got to see the Chinese lions dancing and the dragon dance. Later in the afternoon, Lisa (Chinese Malaysian) shared her culture by introducing a special dish her family would eat (Yee Sang) during this time.

In the dish, the raw fish, different vegetables, fruits, and herbs each carry their own significance (wealth, prosperity, and happiness). Everyone would gather around the dish and raise their chopsticks to toss the Yee Sang ingredients together, while uttering auspicious wishes. The higher the toss, the higher one’s fortunes go that year.

Gan Keshet had their own Yee Sang!

Lisa Lu
Team Leader – Qualified Early Chlidhood Educator

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