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Gōngxǐ fācái from the International School of Samui!

Spring Festival or Chinese New Year -- The Year of the Pig (猪年大吉) -- officially began on Tuesday 5th February 2019 and on its 4th day the International School of Samui organised its own program to celebrate this hugely popular world-wide festival.

Excited early spectators ensured they got the best seats close to the stage to enjoy their child/ren’s performances. The show was packed with entertainment from Reception students up to Senior school.

Our MCs (Masters of Ceremony) Paul-Eric (Year 10) and Mischa (Year 8) wowed the audience with their fluent command of Mandarin Chinese. Their partner MCs, Anrai (Year 9) and Haneul (Year 8) took to the stage confidently to engage the audience with their perfect English.

Our MCs shared some insights on this particular day in the Chinese Calendar:

"Today, February 8th is the 4th day of Chinese New Year called as Day of the Sheep (羊日—yáng rì) In Chinese mythology, the world was created by Nǚ Wā (女娲). Sheep were created on the 4th day. People will pray to the god of wealth on this day. Offerings include three types of meat, fruits and wine. For the traditions, at midnight, people will welcome the god of wealth in by opening the windows and eating and drinking until daybreak."

There are so many different ways to greet a Chinese friend "Happy New Year", but one of the common greetings is Gōngxǐ fācái (恭禧发财) or Gung hei faat coi in Cantonese which is a "blessing for wealth and prosperity".

Watch our Facebook live video below with minutes of each performance in the description box:

We applaud the following groups of students for these performances:

Year 7: Traditional Chinese Tambourine dance Year 6: Poem describing the scenery of the Spring Festival flower market Petr Volkov (Year 5): A solo performance on the piano whilst singing traditional Chinese New Year song. Well done Peter, this took some courage and you were brilliant! Year 5: Traditional Chinese Dance performance "Cherry Blossom" Year 8: Read a Chinese Poem about the Chinese New Year of the Farmers Year 4: A well-rehearsed Chopstick dance Year 3: A poem: "First Day of the Year" Reception to Year 2: A dance full of energy called "Gongxi Gongxi" Year 2: A well choreographed Kung-Fu Fighting dance and song by Pinkfong

Throughout the day some wonderful Chinese cultural activities took place. Senior students learnt to cook vegetarian dumplings, a hugely popular dish at this time of year! Within their Art lessons, students designed their own posters using Chinese Calligraphy skills. Some of them wrote simple Chinese characters which had positive meanings.

Our Primary students had their Chinese Zodiac Race, but before this challenge they made a wonderful Dragon mask. A wonderful way to learn about a different and important culture. Know more about the Chinese Zodiac story here.

The meaningful Chinese festival celebrations ends this year on 19th of February which turns into the Lantern Festival.

Our students are very fortunate to experience such a wonderful Cultural event first hand and the Red Chinese lanterns decorating the entire school made the day all the more special!

We would like to thank Miss Esther, our Chinese teacher, for organising another wonderful event and we are looking forward to 2020 when we will celebrate -- The Year of the Rat!

Happy Chinese New Year to our diverse parents and particularly our Chinese families as this celebration is so close to their hearts.

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