This week the spotlight has been on Chinese festivals and celebrations. We found out about the Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese New Year. It seems that dragons play an important part in Chinese celebrations.
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is held on 5th May every year. It is held in memory of Qu Yuan, a Chinese man who drowned in the Miluo River. Fishermen tried to save him by paddling out on boats and even threw food into the water so the fish would not eat his body. Today, celebrations include dragon boat races and special ‘zongzi’ food is eaten. Zongzi is special food wrapped in bamboo leaves. Click HERE to read Daniel’s blog post about the history of the Dragon Boat Festival and how we celebrated it at school.
Chinese New Year
Click HERE to watch the Behind the News video clip we watched to learn about Chinese New Year. We discovered:
* Chinese New Year is usually in February and celebrations last for 15 days.
* The Luna Calendar determines when Chinese New Year is celebrated.
* Dragons are a symbol of good luck and can be made from paper, silk and bamboo.
* Some dragons are 70 metres long and need 200 people to carry them.
* Each year of the Chinese Calendar is represented by an animal.
* It is believed that people take on the characteristics of the animal of the year they are born.
* It is considered bad luck to do house work during Chinese New Year because you will sweep away good luck.
* People eat special dumplings shaped like money so they become rich.
* There are special red envelopes with money handed to children.
After taking notes in a data chart we used the Educreations app for the first time ever to create a short report on Chinese New Year. We are still learning all about this new app and Miss Crowther is still learning how to put our iPad creations on the blog. Hopefully you can click HERE and HERE to see our early creations.
What other celebrations do you know about? Tell us!
Have you used Educreations before? What tips can you share?
Last week we put our taste buds to the test and tasted some foods from different parts of Asia. It was interesting to see the different packaging and to look at the ingredients listed in another language!
There was some interesting information on the back of the Fortune Cookie box. Legend has it that years ago an important person in China became worried that the people who lived in the town would challenge him and take over. So, he sent someone to take away all the weapons. But, this made the people cross. So, they used Fortune Cookies to send messages to each other about when and where they would fight the important person. We’re not sure if we believe this because Sam has a book that says Fortune Cookies were invented by two Chinese people living in America. And, people in China didn’t know anything about the cookies until they started importing them from America in the 1980s. Two very different stories depending which text you read.
Here are some of the messages in our Fortune Cookies:
* It is always the ones who talk the loudest who do the least.
* Faults are thick when love is thin.
* Deciding not to choose is still making a choice.
* Confucius say: “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
What foods have you tried from around the world?
Have you heard any other sayings from Confucius?
This term’s Our Unit of Inquiry is all about China. China has a population of 1.3 billion people (according the National Geographic for Kids) which means that more people live in China than in any other country on Earth. We have discovered that China has huge mountains, sandy deserts and even rainforests.
Last week we learnt about some of the traditional games children play in China. They play lots of the same games we do, like running races, tiggy and hide and seek. Some of the games are a lot like our games, only with a different name. ‘Jumping Room’ is the same as our Hopscotch and ‘Dodge the Beanbag’ is our Poison Ball.
Some Chinese games are not so similar to the games we play. Tiao Pi Jing (tee-ow-pee-jing) is one of these games. Miss Crowther remembers calling it Elastics and playing it when she was at primary school. As part of our Education Week celebrations we taught our prep buddies how to play and have made a short video to teach our blogging buddies! Thanks to Mrs M for the Vimeo tips. If you don’t have elastic, thread some elastic bands together!
We didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out Mrs M and Class 2 have also been playing elastics….in England! Click HERE to see their video clip.
What is your favourite game to play? Do you know which country it originates from?
Do you know any other Chinese games?