The Lunar New Year is always an exciting festival for everyone, especially for children! It means time with family, new year goodies and a rest from everyone’s usual routines at school or work. Much of the excitement is also fuelled by children dressing up in their New Year outfits!
Most of us look forward to New Years mostly because of what it signifies – a brand new year that is accompanied by new hopes, new opportunities and a fresh start. A do-over, for those of us who are in need of one.
In preparation of this, many teachers started planning weeks in advance to give our young charges a memorable experience, and also meaningful learning experience. This year, our Chinese Curriculum Team also supplemented the preparation of the work of our teachers and principals by providing a fresh perspective of New Years for the children.
New Year Parallels with Jewish Passover
It was brought to our attention that New Year, as novel and exciting it may be, is not entirely new. In history, it was commemorated by the Jews. A few parallels between Lunar New Year and the Jewish Passover is includes a spirit or demon of death that claims the life of children, and how this spirit or demon of death is warded off by something red.
Another similarity lies in families gathered in this season, in remembrance of the protection and safety that we experience. For those of us who are Christians, we are reminded that we are only safe because of Jesus who served the role us our Passover Lamb.
The teachers and children are reminded that this season, is also one where we can be a blessing to others because of what we have been given.
Some of our Centres also chose to combine their festivities with an Active Ageing Centre or an Eldercare Centre. By spending their time with other members from the community, the children are provided with opportunities to share joy beyond their class and school.
Presbyterian Preschool (Tampines) has kept up with their longstanding celebration with Evergreen Active Ageing Centre. With us living with Covid as an endemic, the children went back again this year to spend time with the elderly. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, MP for Tampines GRC also joined in the celebrations! Besides feasting together, the children prepared performance items for the elderly. This gave the children to learn, practice, execute and perform in a public setting.
As part of their ongoing community partnership with St Luke’s Eldercare, children from Presbyterian Preschool (Hougang) also visited a Senior Care Centre to present some songs and a dance, play games with them and co-create craft work with the seniors.
Michele Koh, Centre Leader (Hougang), shared that they hope to instill the values of respect, and compassion in the children as they communicate with the elderly. Through such interactions, children also learn to be more patient and sensitive.
As the New Year festivities draw to a close, we might find ourselves yearning for the next new year or fresh start. Or for the children, they may just be looking forward to next round of celebrations, ang pow collection and snacking. Until then, where can we place our hope?
May we remember that hope can always be found, and God is always doing a new things amongst us (Isaish 43:19).