Our Chinese Society welcomed in the Year of the Pig in traditional Chinese style on Monday 4 February.  

The celebrations commenced with an introduction from Upper Sixth Former Andes Lee who spoke about the traditions of the Chinese New Year. He explained the background of the Year of the Pig (each animal has attributes which are said to describe the personality of those born in that year). Those born in the Year of the Pig are said to have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life. Andes also described some of the activities undertaken during this festive time including giving and receiving red envelopes (usually at social and family gatherings). The red colour symbolizes good luck and wards off evil spirits. Other activities include watching fireworks and firecrackers, enjoying lunar New Year films and exchanging gifts.

The boys learnt about taboos, such as not using negative words and not cleaning or sweeping during celebrations, as well as learning about traditional foods eaten, like the candy box, rice cake and Buddha’s delight.

This was followed by Harry Chen’s explanation of the rules of Chinese chess. New players like Ben Sudborough and Trent Abraham were highly engaged in it and suggested that (to attract British members), the Chinese Society would create more meetings where Chinese chess is played. The boys also enjoyed many traditional Chinese snacks as well as sharing knowledge about the different foods they were eating.

Ben Sudborough told us, “I thought the Chinese Society was really fun and very informative. The talk by Andes about Chinese traditions and how the language linked to the reasons for certain traditions was very interesting. The following game of Chinese chess explained by Harry was great fun despite the confusing rules and me, ultimately, losing. Also the Chinese snacks provided by the society were delicious!”

Photo credit to Lower Sixth Former, Shawn Peng.

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