Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Chinese New Year (27th January 2014)

We started early in the hall playing a game called Dragons' Tails. Everyone split into two teams - each team formed a chain conga-style and the last Elfin in each had a scarf tucked into their waistband as a tail. Then both dragon heads had to try to steal the tail from the other dragon. Harder than it sounds.

Then in our circle Amanda and Claire handed around prawn crackers, sesame cakes and coconut biscuits and introduced us to Chinese New Year which this year is on Friday, January 31st. Amanda said that both she and Kira were born in China so Chinese New Year is very important for them. She told us about the lunar calendar and the years being named after animals in 12 year cycles. She read 'The Great Race' which tells the story of how the order of the animals was decided by The Jade Emperor.

She explained that people born in each year are influenced by the character of the animal and that this year was the Year of the Horse - cheerful, hard-working and independent. She explained that dragons bring good luck and that at New Year giant dragons with people inside perform a dance where the dragon chases the pearl of wisdom. And....that we were going to perform one today!

And so began the Story of the Dragoncraft Folk

We broke up into groups - one started work on the head…

...one on the tail and the body scales….

...and one built a rhythm with drums, tins, cardboard boxes, tambourines and other shakers…

Elfins moved between music making and dragon making. Then 7 climbed into the finished dragon…

When parents arrived we took it in turns to do a loud - raucous - wild - dance - 

- the dragon moved at surprising speed chasing the pearl and looked wonderful.

As everyone was leaving Amanda gave out traditional red money envelopes (with 10p inside) for good fortune, a fortune cookie and a card dial for finding out what animal year you are born in.

It was a very happy Woodcraft Chinese New Year.

Session Lead: Amanda
Leaders: Lucy, Kate, Alison, Catrin
Helpers: Claire, Marie, Tei


The Dragon Rides Again
: Wolvercote Primary School borrowed the dragon for their Year 2 Key Stage 1 assembly. Kira, Bethan and others got to be dragon people one more time.

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