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Countdown to Chinese New Year at Wellington

24 January 2019
With less than a week to go before our host of Chinese New Year celebratory events begin, I’m absolutely delighted to report that our preparations are going very well indeed and I hope that you’re beginning to feel the excitement and anticipation build – I certainly am! Before I give a quick update on the headline events that we can all look forward to enjoying, I’d like to thank everyone for their sterling efforts in helping bring the new year to life. My team are, as always, a great source of inspiration and will go to any lengths to make the season special. We’ve also been working closely with other departments, including art and music, who have been amazingly generous in their support. The same can definitely be said of our Friends of Wellington, whose members are always so willing to give up their time and talents at this time of year to help with decorations, preparing the Temple Fair and a million other small but vital tasks; we are so lucky to have them working alongside us. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank the Wellington pupils. Every year, pupils from every year group, no matter their background, enter into the spirit of Chinese New Year with the kind of enthusiasm and respectfulness that makes them a credit to the College. From creating incredible artwork for the charity auction, to practising extremely hard on their performances, volunteering to assist with the Temple Fair and more, they always help make CNY a joyous time for everyone. So with that said, here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening at Wellington for CNY 2019!  

Chinese New Year art auction

31st January

Around this time every year I am so eager to discover what our talented pupils will create for our annual art auction. Given that CNY is a celebration for the whole community, it’s highly appropriate that every class from Early Years to year 5 has contributed one or several excellent pieces of art. These are mostly whole-class projects, demonstrating the importance of working together to produce something beautiful. The artwork will be displayed in the main reception area from Monday 28th, while the auction itself will be held on Thursday 31st January, so parents will have the chance to view their children’s efforts before the main event. As always, all proceeds from the auction will go to charity. This year the following charities have been chosen by the Friends of Wellington: FitHearts, Hands on Shanghai, Couleurs de Chine, Make a Wish, Jiu Qian and Shanghai Healing Home. Every year, our parents demonstrate remarkable generosity in support of such good causes, and I’ve no doubt that this year will be no different. How to bid: Bids should be submitted via WeChat. Bidding will open at 08:30 and close at 16:00 on Thursday 31st January. For more detailed instructions on bidding, please contact ‘MaggieWan1001’ via WeChat. The winners of the auctions will be announced after bidding closes.  

Pre-Prep School Chinese theatrical performances

31st January

Not one but three theatrical performances will be delivered in the College Theatre as the Pre-Prep School pupils take us on a voyage to explore China’s cultural heritage. Occurring throughout the day, the timings and themes of the performances are as follows:
  • 8:30 to 10:00 – Early Years: Love and respect for nature is a strong theme in Chinese culture and the Early Years classes’ performance focuses on the theme of the Seven Colour Flower Story, a much beloved Chinese classic. There are plenty of dancing animals, including foxes, sharks, ducks and, of course, pigs!
  • 11:00 to 13:00 – Years 1 and 2: Classical poetry is a central pillar of Chinese history and sits at the heart of its rich storytelling tradition. Years 1 and 2 will be stepping back in time to treat us to a theatrical rendition of several classical poems in full costume.
  • 14:00 to 14:30 – Professional performances: The pupils and their teachers get to take a break and marvel at the grace and elegance of our visiting artists, who will be performing a traditional lion dance, acrobatics show and ‘Changing face show’.
All parents are entirely welcome to attend and will receive an email with information for booking a seat. This is an important moment for the Pre-Prep School pupils as well as the Wellington community as a whole. As such, attendance is encouraged and would be much appreciated.  

Temple Fair

1st February

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Temple Fair, everyone has been working very hard to make this year’s event ever better by expanding the range of activities and attractions on offer, not to mention the scale – if you thought we had a lot of dumplings last year, you haven’t seen anything yet! This year, expect to see the return of old favourites, including Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstrations, calligraphy and tea ceremony workshops, as well as new appearances such as the sugarball-making stall. There will be plenty of ways to see, smell, hear, touch and taste what makes Chinese culture so special. Like last year, access to the Temple Fair will again be split between three groups to make sure that everybody can fully enjoy everything that’s on offer. Timings for access will be staggered as follows:
  • 8:30 to 10:30 – Lower Prep
  • 11:00 to 13:00 – Upper Prep
  • 13:45 to 15:45 – Senior School
Please note that the fair is open to parents and staff to observe only.  

Dress in the spirit of Chinese New Year

Finally, in order to properly get into the spirit of the Chinese New Year celebrations, we strongly encourage all pupils, parents and staff members in attendance to dress for the occasion. This could be a token gesture, such as wearing something with a prominent touch of bright red, or you could go all out and wear qipao, Kung Fu jackets or other forms of traditional Chinese clothing, it’s up to you! I have to stress that the Temple Fair is not a simple non-uniform day, so please either dress in uniform or in the respectful manner described.


Get ready for the Year of the Pig

Again, thank you all for your much-appreciated efforts in helping us prepare for CNY at Wellington. I hope that you enjoy the celebrations of this wonderful time of year, learn a little more of the culture of our College’s host nation, and generally have a great time. Chinese New Year is for everyone, but with a focus on family, so I am thrilled to know that we will enjoy it together as one big ‘Wellington family’.