CHINESE dancing, a cooking demonstration and food tasting were just some of the activities Steyning children enjoyed to celebrate the year of the horse.
Pupils in reception and key stage one at Steyning Primary School all wore red, a lucky Chinese colour, last Friday to mark Chinese new year.
Arts and crafts projects were set up in reception, year one and year two classrooms, and the children from those years moved around during the day, so each had a chance to make Chinese hats, lanterns and fans, practise writing Chinese letters and numbers, try dragon dancing and listen to Chinese music.
Ann-Marie Allen, reception team leader at Steyning Primary School, told the younger children the story of Chinese new year and how the animals came to have a year named after them in the Chinese zodiac.
“The Jade Emperor decided there should be a way to measure time,” she told them. “The animals competed in a race and the first 12 would be rewarded with having a year named after them.”
Two Steyning Grammar School boarders from Hong Kong visited to tell the children more about Chinese new year and took along red envelopes filled with lucky gold coins to hand out.
In the afternoon, chef Wu Renkai and Adelaide Tsu from Bramber Dragon Chinese restaurant, in The Street, Bramber, showed how to prepare and cook Chinese food, cutting up vegetables with a Chinese knife.
Adelaide said: “We wanted to show the children Chinese cooking and celebrate Chinese new year.”
Mr Wu said he had wanted to ‘cook for everyone’ since he was young and he had been a chef for 16 years.
The children then tasted prawn crackers, noodles and rice and were given fortune cookies to take home.