Chinese New Year!


新年好 – Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Or Happy New Year for those that haven’t quite managed to master Mandarin!
Beavers spent the night learning all about China and the Chinese New Year to work towards their Friendship Challenge Badge. They came prepared with their homework which had been set the week before. Each Beaver had been given a different question to answer about China and they read them out instead of giving a piece of Beaver news in the Beaver dam.
There were 21 facts which are below:
1. What is the Capital City of China? Beijing
2. What is the main language spoken in China? Standard Mandarin Chinese
3. What is the money called in China? Renminbi –people’s currency
4. Do they drive on the left or the right side of the road in China? right, except for Hong Kong & Macau
5. Can you name one of the Mountain ranges that separate China from South and Central Asia? the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges
6. In English what is the National Anthem of China called? March of the Volunteers
7. Can you name one of the two longest rivers in China? The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world.
8. What is the man-made structure called that was built over many years in China and is very famous? The Great Wall of China
9. Is China the first or second largest Country by LAND area? Second after Russia.
10. The Earths highest Mountain lies on the boarder of China and Nepal. What is it called? Mount Everest
11. What cuddly endangered animal is China famous for? The Giant Panda
12. What is the President of China called? Hu Jintao
13. Are there more girls or boys born in China? Boys
14. Can you name one of the main traditional religions in China? Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religions.
15. What can you use to eat your food in China that is not a knife or fork? Chop sticks!
16. Do you know how many medals China won at the 2012 London Paralympics? 231 overall, including 95 gold
17. What animal are Chinese racing boats named after? Dragon
18. What is the main food product in the south of China? Rice
19. Which brightly coloured exploding devices used at times of celebration or on bonfire night were invented in China? Fireworks
20. What colour do Chinese people think is lucky? Red
21. In China each year is named after an animal. What animal is 2013 the year of? Snake

The Beavers then split into groups and they rotated around the different bases where they learnt about, experienced and even tasted China!

What is the Chinese New Year all about? Base:

The Beavers all learnt about the history and custom of Chinese New Year from Rabbit, they found out that….
Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting with the family, celebration, fireworks and gift-giving. It is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival.
The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories which explain this. The simplest is that Buddha (or the Jade Emperor) invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Depending on the year you are born, you are believed to have the various character traits of that year’s animal.
For the Beavers they would be one of the following:
2004: Monkey. Very clever, but mischievous. Loves a challenge and can wriggle out of difficult situations by thinking through difficult problems. Highly successful and well-liked.
2005: Rooster. Hardworking, strong-willed and confident. Well organised and good time keepers. Enjoy being the centre of attention and love flattery. Often outspoken and hate criticism of themselves though they can be inclined to find fault with other people.
2006: Dog. Faithful, honest and ready to serve others. Believe in truth and justice and loyal to friends. Always willing to listen to people’s problems and is able to gain the respect of others. Will share their thoughts but do not easily forgive those who cross them. Trustworthy. Tend to worry too much.
2007:Pig/Boar. Honest, peace-loving and make good friends. Will try not to argue and rarely lose their temper. Love the good things in life and are very willing to share with others. Enjoy gossip and fall in love easily. Can be untidy people at home.
Where is China and what does the flag look like? Base:
Paddy taught all the Beavers that China is located in East Asia, bordered by the Pacific Ocean on its east coast and by 14 countries, including Russia, Mongolia, and India.

You can see it on the map below.

The flag looks like this:

The Beavers got to colour in their own flag.
Chinese Lanterns Base:
Bear and David led the Beavers in the making of Lanterns which are made to mark the end of the celebrations of Chinese New Year.
The celebrations end on the fifteenth day with ‘The Festival of Lanterns’. Everywhere is decorated with lanterns of different sizes and in the streets there is music and dancing. The making of lanterns in China is a tradition which goes back 500 years. Red lanterns are thought of as lucky!

Tasting China! Base:
Owl and Hedgehog had a table full of goodies for the Beavers to try with yummy prawn crackers, spring rolls and sweet chilli sauce for savoury options. Delicious lychees, kiwi’s-which are the national fruit of China and some interesting dried sugared melon for sweet options. Owl and Hedgehog attempted to persuade all the Beavers to try a little bit of everything that they were allowed to try…but not all of them were convinced! They did enjoy it when Hedgehog said that the lychees looked like eyeballs though! Surprisingly a lot of them also liked tasting the traditional Chinese green tea! Upon leaving the food table the Beavers could pick a fortune cookie and we were all pleased to read that there are a lot of Beavers who have some luck coming their way!

The evening went so fast and was so busy that the parents had to wait a bit for us to finish! Sorry about that parents, we hope the Beavers told you some interesting facts about China to make up for it!