Oak class have been very lucky to have had two afternoons with three students from Lancaster University. Linda, Sarah and Jaime have been teaching the class all about the Qingming Festival. This is a festival celebrated on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox which means it is usually held at the beginning of April. It is when ancestors of the family are remembered and celebrated. The family will visit the grave of their families, bow three times and lay flowers at the headstone. Then they set light to fake money which is to help their family members have a better life in their after-life. We held flowers and thought of members of our family who are no longer with us and then lit a pretend banknote.
The second day we focused on games and food that is eaten during the festival. We learned to play Mahjong which is a Chinese game involving 136 tiles and was fairly complicated to play! You have to use skill, strategy and predict your opponent’s moves too. We also made dumplings with a variety of fillings: red bean paste; which was sweet, pork floss; which was our meat choice and dried duck egg yolk; which was salty. We then rolled our dumpling in black or white sesame seeds before steaming for 15 minutes. They were very tasty!
We are very grateful for all the time and energy that Linda, Sarah and Jaime put into organising our wonderful afternoons and we now know so much more about Qingming festival.