FUNDRAISING – Other cultures Hanukkah (22-30 Chinese New Year

(25 January 2020) Chinese New Year, or ‘The Spring Festival’, celebrates the beginning of the Lunar New Year, meaning it can fall any time between 21 January and 20 February. Each year is named after one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Next year will be the year of the rat.

Event idea: Lantern parade The celebrations culminate in a lantern parade, which can be the basis of your event. The lanterns, plus celebratory clothing and other decorations, are usually red, representing good luck. Pupils can make lanterns in class, as well as other crafts inspired by the zodiac animals. You could also incorporate dragon dancers, who perform while holding poles that support a long model dragon, or a lion dance, performed by two people inside an elaborate costume. Add music with a performance of Chinese drumming. Alongside the parade, have craft stalls where children can decorate lanterns, drums and paper cut-outs. Foods eaten to celebrate the

Chinese New Year include spring rolls, noodle soup, dumplings, rice-based desserts and mandarins. Each type of food represents something positive – for example, wealth, prosperity and happiness. Chinese lanterns often have

riddles written on them for children to solve, so write riddles on the lights around your event and give children sheets to fill in with the answers. When they return them, reward participants with a red envelope – traditionally, these are filled with money, but sweets will be more economical.

36 AUTUMN 2019

December 2019) Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights. The date changes each year, but it always falls during November or December. ‘Hanukkah’ means ‘rededication’ and celebrates a miracle that occurred during the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The festival lasts for eight days and involves lighting candles and lamps in honour of the miracle of the oil in the temple.

Event idea: Dreidel evening A popular pastime during Hanukkah is playing with a dreidel, which is a cross between a spinning top and a dice. The game begins with each player having an equal number of an item, such as tokens or sweets. Each player begins by placing one of these into the middle. They then take it in turns to spin the dreidel, and the symbol it lands on dictates what

happens next. ‘Gimel’ means the spinner gets all of the items in the middle, ‘nun’ means they get nothing, ‘he’ means they get half and ‘shin’ means they must put another item into the middle. Invite attendees to mix and play

together, in the style of a beetle drive. Charge a set price to attend, and give all attendees an equal number of playing pieces when they arrive. Award prizes based on how many tokens they have left at the end of the event. Fried food is often eaten at Hanukkah – offer latkes (a type of potato fritter) or doughnuts.

Holi (9-10 March 2020)

Otherwise known as the ‘Festival of Colours’, Holi is a two-day Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter and beginning of spring. The first day is marked by gathering around the bonfire to symbolise the legend of Holika and Prahlad and the triumph of good over evil, but it’s the second day you might be more familiar with. This is when crowds come together to throw perfumed powder known as gulal, representing the love between the Hindu Gods Radha and Krishna. Each colour represents something different – red is love, blue is Krishna, Yellow is turmeric and green is spring, although other meanings are sometimes applied.

Event idea: Colour run A colour run is a great basis for a Holi event and can be enhanced with other popular elements of the festival. Position volunteers along the course to throw coloured powder, and invite children to squirt runners with water pistols to help the powder stick. Invite along a troupe of Dohl drummers and Indian dancers and gather everyone together afterwards with packets of powder to sing and dance in a spectacle of colour (make sure there’s a photographer!). Afterwards, serve traditional refreshments such as sweet dumplings and lassi, which will be a welcome reward for your runners.


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