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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Dalton Chinese New Year party proves a roaring success

PARENTS and pupils enjoyed a taste of the Orient as a school prepared to welcome in the Chinese New Year.

Dowdales School in Dalton held a week of celebrations to mark the Year of the Snake which begins on Sunday.

The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions.

The Chinese New Year tradition is to forget all grudges and wish peace and happiness to everyone.

Traditionally, children receive lucky red bags which often contain money.

Dragon dancers and cookery lessons were among the highlights as the school celebrated the biggest festival in the Chinese calendar.

Paul Beach, head of languages and the school’s international coordinator, said: “We made a big effort to celebrate Chinese New Year as we have a Chinese language assistant, Mrs Jia, working with us. We’ve made a big thing of it this year.”

The events were inspired by Jingmin Jia, a Chinese teaching assistant who is working with a number of schools in the area.

From taking a taste of traditional Chinese recipes to embracing the Mandarin language, the celebrations proved to be a great success.

San Jim, who runs the Diamond Restaurant in Dalton Road, Barrow, along with wife Lily, took traditional Chinese dragon costumes to the school and put on a special parents and pupils cookery masterclass to cook up some Chinese classics.

Even the school canteen got in on the action, by serving a menu featuring seaweed, prawn toast and lychees to hungry pupils.

Mr Beach added: “We always mention Chinese New Year but this is the first time we’ve ever done anything big and now, through Mrs Jia, we have strong links with the local Chinese community.

“It’s been really successful and we’re aiming to do this again next year.”

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