Harrogate pupils celebrate Chinese New Year 2016

Pupils at Ashville College took part in a workshop with Six Harmonies Lion Dance Crew to mark Chinese New Year 2016 (s).
Pupils at Ashville College took part in a workshop with Six Harmonies Lion Dance Crew to mark Chinese New Year 2016 (s).

Pupils at a Harrogate school have joined billions worldwide in celebrating Chinese New Year 2016.

Ashville Junior School pupils and staff marked Chinese New Year with a host of activities, including a workshop from Six Harmonies Lion Dance Crew.

The day started with an assembly led by Chinese borders from the senior school, who told their young audience about the Chinese zodiac, habits and how they celebrate Chinese New Year and demonstrated a dragon dance.

Chinese New Year: What you need to know

Monday 8 February marks the Chinese New Year. It’s a big deal for 20 per cent of the world’s population - the population of China is roughly 1.3 billion - but how much do you know about the celebration?

Chinese New Year is a 16-day celebration, making the western equivalent look decidedly brief in comparison. Celebrations start on New Year’s Eve - Sunday 7 February this year - and culminate with the lantern festival 15 days into the new year.

Chinese New Year - how to celebrate

New Year’s Eve - Marked by a family reunion meal, giving lucky red envelopes (filled with money) to children and staying up late in celebration

New Year’s Day - Marked with the setting of fireworks and the offering of sacrifices to ancestors

Day two to three - Marked by visiting friends and extended family

Day eight - This is when most people will go back to work

Day 15 - Marked with the lantern festival, more fireworks and the eating of sweet dumplings

Year of the Monkey

This year will be the Year of the Monkey, so as well as wishing your friends and family: ‘Xīnnián hǎo’ (Happy New Year), you may wish to try something more complex specific to a Monkey year. How about this monkey-themed greeting?

“Hóunián sòng nǐ wǔzhī hóu: jīling guǐmì rú míhóu, jiànkāng kuàilè xiàng mǎhóu, yōuxián fùguì shì hóuzi, wúyōu wúlǜ bǐ yuánhóu,cōngmíng línglì shèng sūnhóu.”

Translation, according to chinahighlights.com: “This Monkey year, I give you five monkeys: the ingenuity of the macaque, the health and happiness of the monkey, the leisure and wealth of monkey-kind,the lightheartedness of apes and monkeys,and intelligence and wit surpassing the Monkey King.”

Each new year is named after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. These are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Like its western counterpart, the Chinese zodiac attributes certain personality traits to each star sign.

The personality of the monkey is thought to be mischievous and quick-witted, and people born under this sign are judged to be intelligent career high-flyers, but quick to anger with a tendency toward snobbiness.

Which animal are you?

Here’s our quick guide to the 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac, and the main attribute each is said to bestow.

All you need to look up is the year in which you were born.

Rat (Wisdom): 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924

Ox (Industriousness): 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925

Tiger (Valour): 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926

Rabbit (Caution): 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927

Dragon (Strength): 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928

Snake (Flexibility): 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929

Horse (Forging ahead): 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930

Goat (Unity): 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931

Monkey (Changeability): 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932

Rooster (Being constant): 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933

Dog (Fidelity): 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934

Pig (Amiability): 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935