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Dragon dance performed at École Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary

Students make noise to celebrate Chinese New Year
Grade one French Immersion students performed a dragon dance at École Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary starting from the library on Friday, Feb. 4 to celebrate the Chinese New Year. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

There was a lot of noise before noon at École Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary in Quesnel to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Grade one French Immersion students paraded from the library and entered each classroom for a dragon dance on Friday, Feb. 4.

Teacher Madame Cathy Braun led her students who formed a dragon with noisemakers from room to room, drawing enthusiastic responses from fellow students and teachers.

“Part of the social studies curriculum is cultural learning, cultural differences, and comparing how festivals are celebrated in different countries,” Braun said.

“So we looked at how we celebrate New Year’s typically in Canada versus the Lunar New Year.”

Read More: PHOTOS: On Lunar New Year, Chinese offer prayers at temples

Before the exuberant celebration, the young students had learned about the legend of Nian—a monster that fears the colour red, loud noises and fire and is chased away at the beginning of Chinese New Year when it comes out of hiding.

In addition, they made created a two-dimensional piece of art known as ‘tangram’ after cutting a square into seven pieces and rearranging.

Watching the dragon dance brought happiness to librarian Teresa Mccart, who previously taught grades one and two.

“So now Cathy does it, and I help her out,” she said.

“I’ve been doing Chinese New Year since 1990 just because I love it, and because I’m a librarian, I was able to do all sorts of fun stuff with the kids this past week, and some writing and some art over the past month.”

Both Braun and Mccart believe all students enjoyed the celebration, whether by participating or watching, and that the learning of different cultures fosters diversity, respect, and joy.

The grade one French Immersion class ended their celebration marking the start of the Year of the Tiger by throwing poppers on the ground and yelling ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese.

Read More: International students welcomed to School District 28

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