Celebrating the Year of the Dog

London A75

Preparation began in January for this year’s Chinese New Year event. Every Chinese student was excited about this and the students worked hard to plan the festivities.

We had several meetings to delegate responsibilities to the people who came to help organise the event. Some brought food, some provided decorations, and others prepared activities etc. We had a tea ceremony, a raffle and a stand teaching people to play Mahjong and Go. Chinese New Year is mainly a family affair, so we were trying our best to make everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year with feel like they were at home.

On Feb 7th, all of the organisers and volunteers arrived at the library at 3 o’clock. It was time to make it happen. In order to create a festive atmosphere, we set up tables for the buffet. People helped each other put up some Chinese paper-cuts, there was some last-minute disorganisation with sorting everything out but thanks to the help of our tutors Hong and Dan, we were ready just before the event was due to start.

The event proved to be very popular which was great but also surprising. We had not anticipated such a turnout and there were too few student helpers to cope with the unanticipated large number of guests. We had to grab some students who attended the event to help us! Some students including myself did several jobs. I stood next to the entrance and gave out raffle tickets as people arrived. I then realised that there were no people pouring rice wine for the teachers, so I took care of this honouring custom and I also jumped in and gave a spontaneous performance of Chinese rap; I was pleased that this was well-received!

Even though we made some mistakes, the whole event ran smoothly, I just want to say thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen and to everyone who came to the event. I'm glad everyone enjoyed it. Finally, Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! 新年快乐!

Jerry Yan

Pictures of the Lunar New Year celebration can be found on our Facebook page.