Chinese New Year 2017

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We had a special treat today. Miss Varley told us that we were going to be learning about the Chinese New Year.

What is Chinese New Year? 

Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year. As the Chinese use the Lunar calendar for their festivals the date of Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February.

Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest celebration of the year.

The Twelve Chinese Zodiac Animals

The Chinese calendar is different from that used in the United Kingdom. It is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them being named after an animal. This is very like our signs of the zodiac. Some people believe that people born in a particular year such as the year of the Dog will have some of the characteristics of that animal.

We found out that it is the year of the Rooster.


The Chinese New Year of the Rooster began on 28 January 2017. It is year 4715 on the Chinese Calendar.

The date of Chinese New Year varies each year and the next will be on 16 February 2018, when it will be the Year of the Dog.

Do you know which Zodiac sign you are? Click here to find out. Miss Varley was born in the year of the rat and Miss Morris was born in the year of the ox. 

We wanted to know where the animals came from so we read the story of the Zodiac. Click here to read the story.


We created some dragon masks and then we used the hall to do some dragon dancing.

To finish our day, Miss Varley had made us a Chinese New Year banquet. It was delicious and we loved trying all of the different foods.



Here Be Dragons…

This week, we have been learning about dragons in Literacy. We have read the stories The Dragon Machine and George and the Dragon to help us with our Literacy work.


We have been using adjectives to help us make noun and expanded noun phrases to describe the dragons.

These were some of the suggestions made by the children:

mean, ugly dragon’, ‘terrifying, scary dragon’, ‘fierce, vicious dragon’

We also looked at how to use similes to add more description to our writing.

‘The dragon had breath as hot as a volcano’s fire

‘His claws were as sharp as razor blades

‘He could fly as high as the mountains and as low as the ground

We made our own small world play so we could retell the stories in our own words.


Then we looked at dragons in our independent learning and we found out it was Chinese New Year but it was when we were on our February holidays. So we decided that we would celebrate it this week instead.

We read the story of the Zodiac. Each year is named after an animal who won in the race. This year is Year of the Monkey! We found out that we were born in the Year of the Rat or Year of the Ox.

We made dragon masks in our independent learning time and added decorations to them.

On Friday, we had a massive celebration for Chinese New Year and we had a Chinese New Year banquet with all of our friends, before we went to the hall so we could perform our Dragon dance. We had so much fun.

What you could do at home?

  1. Use the Internet to look at other customs that take place in Chinese New Year.
  2. Visit the library to find story books to read about dragons.
  3. Use adjectives to describe different objects around your home.