Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July

8 Dates and Festivals to Celebrate in July: From NAIDOC Week to Bastille Day

July is Australia’s coldest month. In the middle of winter, it is a time for meditation and reflection. In the Northern Hemisphere however, July is their warmest month, and it signifies the height of summer.  We’ve looked all over the globe for our best picks of July dates to celebrate and commemorate from our cultural calendar. Ranging from Japan’s Star Festival to NAIDOC Week and Bastille Day, get ready to discover global festivals and celebrations to enjoy in July.  July Morning Festival 1st July In Bulgaria, July Morning is an annual festival celebrated the night before and on July 1st. Although the tradition is unique to Bulgaria, it is not universally celebrated by the entire country.  On this day, people gather on the country’s Black Sea coast to welcome the sunrise of a new day, month and summer season. The festival originated in the 1970s as a symbol of freedom and rebellious youth, but now, participants light fires, play music and jump over the flames, embracing the spirit of renewal and new beginnings. It is this blend of cultural celebration, communal gathering and music festival that draws both locals and tourists to the picturesque coastal locations.   Star Festival  7th July  Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese celebration that takes place on July 7th or August 7th, depending on the region. Originating from a Chinese legend, it celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair, who are allowed to meet only once a year on this day. During Tanabata, people write wishes on colorful strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. Festivities include parades, traditional decorations and performances, making it a joyful and vibrant occasion symbolising love, wishes and the beauty of the night sky.  Celebrate Japanese culture with our Japanese Infusion educational program (available face-to-face in New South Wales), bringing Japanese culture to life using songs, games and storytelling to teach children about the culture, traditions, seasons and celebrations of Japan. Our Japanese Calligraphy or Japanese Ink Painting educational programs, led by award-winning artist Junko, are also other ways to learn about Japanese culture. In these educational programs, student learn different types of brush techniques and touch on Japanese history and origins. Both programs are available in Victoria.  We also offer Taiko Drumming in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, which is a traditional and original Japanese music program that combines spectacular performances with interactive workshops. This educational workshop allows students to be introduced to Japanese culture through music and language.  NAIDOC Week 7th July – 14th July  NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration in Australia that honors the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It stands for National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week typically features various events such as cultural performances, art exhibitions, workshops and community gatherings. The week provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about and acknowledge the rich heritage and contributions of Aboriginal communities. It also serves as a platform to address issues faced by First Nations peoples and promote reconciliation and understanding among all Australians.  This year in 2024, the theme of NAIDOC Week is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’. The term ‘blak’ is a reclaimed word used by Indigenous Australians to assert their cultural identity and solidarity, stripping away the pejorative undertones often associated with ‘black’. ‘Blak’ is not just a word, but a declaration of resilience, pride and ongoing resistance against colonisation and its lingering effects. The term serves as a reminder of the strength and vitality of Indigenous cultures, as well as the significance of preserving heritage, language and identity for the future generations to come.  As we observe NAIDOC Week, let us take the time to engage in the stories and cultures of our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Infusion educational program (available in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales) and our Aboriginal Culture For A Day program (available in Victoria). Let us acknowledge the resilience and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and learn through dance, symbolic art, didgeridoo and a wide range of other engaging activities.  Students can also learn traditional Aboriginal symbols from our First Nations presenters in our Aboriginal Storytelling Through Art educational program, available in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. This unique experience will give students the opportunity to create and share their own stories and is a perfect intercultural experience for any age! Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts  available in New South Wales, Australia Capital Territory and Western Australia on the other hand, combines storytelling with an introduction to the history of Aboriginal tools and artefacts. Students will get to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture throughout this program by acting out stories and engaging with cultural artefacts.  Nevertheless, it is vital to keep the fire burning, not just during NAIDOC Week, but in our everyday actions and interactions as it is important for us to continue learning and engaging with Aboriginal culture and history on an ongoing basis.  Bastille Day  14th July  Bastille Day is a significant festival and holiday in France that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, a symbolic act that ignited the French Revolution. This event was a pivotal moment in French history, signaling the start of the struggle against the monarchy’s absolute power and the fight for freedom, equality and solidarity.   Today, Bastille Day is celebrated with great fervor across France with festivities such as military parades, firework displays and communal gatherings. The iconic parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris showcases France’s military might and cultural diversity, while smaller towns and villages hold their own festivities, featuring local traditions and cuisine.  Cultural Infusion provides a variety of skilled French presenters to assist schools throughout Australia in celebrating Bastille Day. Our Man of a Million Faces and Mime Magnifique! educational programs by renowned international entertainer, Chris, offer students the chance to join interactive and engaging workshops exploring French history and culture. These two programs, available in Victoria, teach students about French theatre life, including magic, mime art and Commedia dell’arte.  In terms of music, we also offer our Classic French Music educational program in New South Wales where our presenters play music from legendary French artists and contextualise the music to students by introducing the lyrics, instruments and cultural context. In Queensland, Les Chansons Françaises with Pauline gives students the opportunity to learn stories of her Parisienne childhood in an interactive vocal session with songs that explore intercultural understanding. Students will hear and speak French throughout the program and end the session learning to waltz!  Eid Al-Adha  16th July – 20th July  Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Christianity and Judaism) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command. However, before he could carry out the act, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead.   During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims commemorate this story by sacrificing an animal, typically a sheep, goat, cow or camel, and sharing the meat with family, friends as well as the less fortunate. The festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a time for prayer, reflection and spending time with loved ones, emphasising the values of sacrifice, charity and community solidarity in the Islamic faith.  Nelson Mandela Day  18th July  Nelson Mandela Day, celebrated annually on his birthday, is a date to raise awareness of the life and legacy of a man who shaped both the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a time for everyone to rediscover the principles that motivated Nelson Mandela, a deep commitment to justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nelson Mandela was a fierce advocate for equality and the founding father of peace in South Africa.  Nelson Mandela demonstrates to us the power of resisting oppression, of justice over inequality, of dignity over humiliation, and forgiveness over hatred. Let us keep in mind Nelson Mandela’s life lessons and the fundamental humanism that shaped him: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  As also said by Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1964, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” His beliefs are in line with Cultural Infusion’s goals in building cultural harmony and wellbeing.   Racial Harmony Day  21st July  In Singapore, Racial Harmony Day is observed annually on July 21st to commemorate the importance of racial and religious harmony in the country. It marks the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots, a dark period in Singapore’s history.   The day is dedicated to promoting understanding, respect and unity among Singapore’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. Schools, workplaces and communities organise various activities such as cultural performances or sharing sessions to foster mutual respect and appreciation for Singapore’s multicultural fabric. Racial Harmony Day serves as a reminder of the nation’s commitment to building a harmonious and inclusive society, where people of different backgrounds can live and thrive together in peace.  Explore our cultural education programs which celebrate and share appreciation of practices and traditions across diverse cultures!  International Friendship Day  30th July  International Friendship Day is a global observance dedicated to promoting friendship and camaraderie among people from all walks of life. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering friendships, both old and new, and cultivating understanding and goodwill across cultures and borders. It’s a time to appreciate the meaningful connections we have with others and to reach out to friends, near and far, to show gratitude and solidarity.   International Friendship Day encourages acts of kindness, reconciliation and bridge-building, emphasising the universal value of friendship in creating a more peaceful and harmonious world.  To celebrate this day, choosing to participate in our cultural education programs which use cultural and artistic expression as a means of promoting social cohesion will allow students to forge strong bonds with each other. This will further help them create friendships based on mutual understanding and respect.   Book your July celebrations now!  Enquire about our cultural education programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the month of July.  Stay tuned for next month to learn the cultural dates to celebrate in August! 

January celebrations

January: A Guide to Celebrating Cultural Dates

As the year comes to a close and the new year begins, January and is full of important days that celebrate various aspects of culture, religion, and history. Featuring dates from Cultural Infusion’s expertly designed Cultural Calendar, we take a look at some of January’s culturally and globally significant dates; focusing on new beginnings, health and wellbeing, and education. Some notable January days that have global relevance include World Braille Day, and International Day of Education. These days foster discourse about important topics, honour achievements, and commemorate the history of countries across the world. The first month of the year marks a period of exploration and new beginnings, filled with possibilities and opportunities. Recognised as International Creativity Month and Self-Love Month, it encourages individuals to explore new hobbies, interests, skills, and passions. In the spirit of exploration, our Multicultural All-Day or Half-Day program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism through a wide variety of engaging and interactive experiences. Participants actively take part in a range of activities and artistic expressions, exploring themes such as language, culture, and history, showcasing a diverse array of cultural programs that contribute to a rich and enlightening experience. Each month of the year has days that hold special significance, making them worth remembering and celebrating. Here, we have shared the details about some commonly celebrated dates in January. Feast of St Basil 1st January St Basil the Great was a leader and a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church, who lived in Cappadocia and served the community with generosity and compassion. He is remembered on the Feast of St Basil, when people bake a special cake called Vasilopita, which has a coin hidden inside. This tradition comes from the bishop’s practice of giving money to the poor. On this day, people also visit their friends and relatives, and celebrate their culture and history together. Our founder and CEO Peter Mousaferiadis is proud of his Greek Orthodox background and heritage. He has received recognition from the Greek community for his work and achievements. He shares the same vision as St Basil the Great, which is to promote intercultural harmony around the world. Cultural Infusion is inspired by the diversity and uniqueness of each human being, and aims to create a better understanding of our society. International Mind-Body Wellness Day 3rd January January 3rd is celebrated as International Mind-Body Wellness Day and is an opportunity to celebrate how a healthy mind means a healthy body as the connection between them plays an integral role in our overall health and well-being. This day highlights the ways that we can elevate our mind-body wellness and promote physical and mental health. Everything from mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality, is encouraged! Our Yoga and Mindfulness program, available in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia, helps students recalibrate for the new school year. Incorporating breath work, flexibility, and strength exercises, the program promotes mental and physical well-being. Students learn flowing yoga postures, classical hand gestures, meditation and breath techniques. Didgeridoo Mindfulness Journey is another fantastic program in Victoria this is a perfect way to re-calibrate the mind and body. Through this engaging program, participants delve into three stories depicting children’s global discovery of the didgeridoo. The session concludes with a didgeridoo meditation, providing a holistic experience for all involved. World Braille Day 4th January World Braille Day, on January 4th, celebrates Louis Braille’s birthday, the inventor of the Braille system empowering millions with visual impairments. This tactile writing system fosters accessibility, education, and social inclusion, highlighting the importance of equal opportunities. The day honours Louis Braille’s enduring legacy, enriching countless lives globally.  Australia celebrates January as National Braille Literacy Month. World Hindi Day 10th January Also known as Vishwa Hindi Diwas, World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10th each year to promote and honour the Hindi language as one of the most widely spoken languages globally. This day marks the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference held in 1975. Hindi plays a crucial role in fostering cultural understanding and connecting people from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Our Bollywood Infusion program (available Australia-wide) and Classical Indian Dance program (available in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia), provide a vibrant cultural experience to engage students in the joy of movement, rhythm, and diversity. These are excellent programs to celebrate World Hindi Day, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indian artforms, traditions and culture. International Kite Day 14th January International Kite Day is a global celebration of the joy and art of flying kites. The day symbolises freedom and joy, turning the sky into a canvas adorned with creative designs in a range of colours. It’s a day of shared experiences and community, celebrating the beauty of flight and the simple pleasure of seeing kites dance in the wind. Our Chinese Kite Making workshop in Victoria offers students a hands-on cultural experience, crafting traditional Chinese kites and learning the cultural significance of the traditional art of Chinese Kite Making, perfect for International Kite Day. World Religion Day 15th January World Religion Day is a global event that recognises the significant role religion plays in fostering connections among humanity. Rooted in Baha’i principles, the day advocates for universal equality and promotes a deeper interfaith understanding, strengthening bonds across all communities. Over time, World Religion Day has evolved beyond exclusive celebrations by Baha’i followers, embracing interfaith dialogue that welcomes and shares perspectives from various faiths. Our CEO, Peter Mousaferiadis, has been a dedicated member of the United Religions Initiative (URI), actively involved in promoting interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution. The URI’s continuous initiatives have brought together esteemed individuals from across the globe to engage in discussions on peace-building and conflict transformation at both local and global scales. At Cultural Infusion, we firmly believe that fostering intercultural understanding and solidarity is a crucial step towards creating a more harmonious world. National Handwriting Day 23rd January National Handwriting Day, celebrated on January 23rd, encourages the appreciation of the art of handwriting. Commemorating the birthday of John Hancock, known for his distinctive signature on the Declaration of Independence, the day emphasises the personal touch of handwritten communication and has since been celebrated internationally. In a digital age, it reminds us of the uniqueness and cognitive benefits of handwriting, encouraging people to take a moment engage in the act of penmanship. Our Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) program provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills and appreciate the beauty of Japanese characters. Available in Victoria for both schools and early childhood, students of all ages will get to explore the traditional art of Japanese calligraphy. Similarly, primary and secondary school students in New South Wales can practice their Chinese calligraphy in our Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Ink Painting program, engaging in a meaningful and culturally enriching practice. International Day of Education 24th January The International Day of Education, highlights the crucial role of education in promoting peace, development, and human rights globally. Established by the United Nations, the day emphasises the importance of inclusive and equitable learning opportunities for all. The International Day of Education is a call to collaborate and address global education challenges and reaffirms the belief that education is a fundamental human right, essential for building a sustainable and just future. Cultural Infusion provides a variety of educational programs dedicated to fostering creativity. In addition to our diverse range of in-person and virtual programs, we offer a comprehensive musical digital platform, Sound Infusion which is designed for students to discover the richness of global music. Sound Infusion, guides students on a global auditory exploration with music samples from various regions, including Latin America and South East Asia. We emphasise transformative education, encouraging students to perceive the social world through a creative and ethical lens. Australia Day / Invasion Day 26th January Known by many people as Australia Day, January 26 is the anniversary of Captain Arthur Phillip’s landing in Sydney Cove in 1788. Representing pride, patriotism, and achievement, Australia Day is a day of celebration and festivities for some. However, for First Nations Peoples, it’s known as Invasion Day. A day of trauma, Invasion Day marks the impact of dispossession, loss of culture, and the profound consequences of British colonisation and the Stolen Generation on their communities. While it’s important to acknowledge Australia’s national achievements and celebrate national pride, it’s equally vital to empathise with and comprehend the ongoing postcolonial trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, along with the negative associations linked to this day. As a nation, it’s important to strive for greater harmony, necessitating reflection and amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Cultural Infusion places significance on personal reflection on January 26 and every day of the year, advocating for enhanced intercultural understanding and confronting previously held beliefs of national pride and heritage. We believe First Nations perspectives need to be heard and valued. Our Aboriginal programs at Cultural Infusion are available in many states across Australia, and are open learning environments for promoting interculturalism and connection between modern and traditional Australia. Aboriginal Infusion is a perfect interactive and engaging introduction to the rich, continuing traditions and cultural aspects of Australia’s first people. Available in Queensland and Victoria, this program features dance and Didgeridoo. Aboriginal Storytelling and Artefacts combines storytelling, artefacts and interactive activities, to introduce students to the history of Aboriginal tools, creating an engaging session for your students in New South Wales, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory. International Environmental Education Day 26th January International Environmental Education Day, observed on January 26th, promotes environmental awareness and the pivotal role of education in sustainable development. This day encourages learning about environmental challenges, conservation, and sustainable practices, aiming to inspire positive actions for the planet. It serves as a reminder that informed individuals are crucial for building a more environmentally conscious global community. Our Caring for Country program in Queensland provides students with the opportunity to connect with the environment and foster an understanding of Indigenous sustainability practices. Through engaging activities and educational content, students develop an appreciation for nature and gain valuable insights into the importance of environmental conservation. Book your January celebrations now! Explore our cultural programs available Australia-wide to celebrate important dates for the beginning of the new year! We will join you again next month to bring you cultural dates to celebrate in February.

Celebrating Lunar New Year in the Classroom - this image is of red envelopes and a Lion Dance head ornament situated in a tree with yellow blossoms.

6 Ways of Celebrating Lunar New Year in the Classroom

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a vibrant and culturally rich celebration observed by millions of people around the world. It marks the first day of the Lunar calendar and typically falls between January 21st and February 20th of every year. In this blog post, we’ll explore creative ways of Celebrating Lunar New Year to bring the joy and significance into the classroom, creating a memorable and inclusive learning experience for students. For 2024, Lunar New Year is the 10th February. The holiday is celebrated for 15 days, and customs and traditions vary depending on the region and the specific culture. In addition to China, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many other Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, each with their own customs and traditions. Embracing diversity and fostering cultural understanding are essential aspects of education. Decorate the classroom with arts and crafts Transform your classroom into a festive space by incorporating Lunar New Year decorations. Engage students in hands-on arts and crafts activities that encourage celebrating Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year has its roots in ancient legends, one of which tells of a monster that used to terrorise villages at the start of each new year. Villagers discovered that the monster was scared off by the colour red. Over time, this tactic became integral to the Lunar New Year celebrations, symbolising triumph over the monster. As a result, the use of the colour red has become a longstanding tradition in the Lunar New Year festivities, bringing luck and prosperity, and are commonly featured in banners, paper lanterns, and other decorations, and is a fun way for students to explore Lunar New Year customs! To practice their writing skills, have a calligraphy session where students can practice writing Lunar New Year greetings and characters, such as ‘新年快乐’ (Xīn nián kuài lè – Happy New Year) and ‘福’ (Fú – good fortune or luck) and hang up their pieces to bring happiness to the classroom. Our Chinese Kite Making and Chinese Lantern Making and Calligraphy workshops in Victoria offer students a hands-on cultural experience, crafting traditional Chinese artworks and the cultural significance of the traditional artforms. Similarly, our Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Ink Painting program is available in New South Wales, this is an interactive workshop focusing on imagery, self-expression and the significance of Chinese Calligraphy and Brush Ink Painting in Chinese culture. These activities not only enhance creativity but also foster an appreciation for cultural art forms and create positive associations when celebrating Lunar New Year. Learn about Lunar New Year traditions Take the opportunity to educate students about the customs and traditions associated with the new year. Share stories about the origin of the festival and how they can be celebrating Lunar New Year. During the Lunar New Year, families come together for a substantial feast on New Year’s Eve and to gift red envelopes, or ‘红包’ (hóngbāo), filled with money to children. The significance of the red packet lies not just in the money it holds but in the envelope itself, as it is red. Additionally, households engage in a thorough cleaning to sweep away any lingering bad luck, burn incense to pay homage to their ancestors, and consume specific foods believed to welcome in luck for the upcoming year. Lunar New Year festivals typically span several days featuring dance performances and martial art demonstrations. The Lunar New Year is also a time to honour ancestors and gods, and people often visit temples to make offerings and pray for good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Another integral aspect of Lunar New Year to explore is the significance of the zodiac animals with your students. The zodiacs are a sequence of 12 animals that symbolise the passage of time. The designation of zodiacs is based on the lunar year that you are born in; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, with each possessing distinct traits and characteristics. In 2024, it is the Year of the Dragon. People born in 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, and 2024 have the Dragon as their Chinese zodiac, and are thought to be confident, intelligent, enthusiastic and lively; often seen as natural leaders. It’s a common misconception that Lunar New Year is exclusively celebrated by China. However, in addition to China, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, each with their own unique customs, festive rituals, and diverse cultural expressions. Consider inviting guest speakers or cultural incursions to provide firsthand insights! Cultural Infusion offers cultural education programs across Australia: Korean Classical Dance is available to schools in Victoria, and early learning centres and schools in New South Wales. Also available in Victoria for early learning centres and schools is our Filipino Music and Storytelling program. Chinese Martial Arts is a great physically engaging workshop available for schools in Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Embracing this cultural diversity allows us to appreciate the shared humanity underlying the festivities and fosters a sense of global unity during this auspicious time. Explore Lunar New Year foods Introduce students to the flavours of Lunar New Year by learning about the symbolism behind each dish and its significance in celebrating Lunar New Year. Depending your school’s policies and student allergies, students could bring in snacks to share, or take ideas home to try with their families. Some accessible ideas can include fruits such as oranges, and mandarins; the colours representing good luck and happiness, and the roundness is an auspicious symbol of togetherness and harmony. Grapes are considered a symbol of abundance because they typically grow in bunches, representing a good harvest and plentiful blessings. This symbolism suggests that good luck will consistently be by your side. Additionally, both green and purple grapes carry positive meanings. Purple symbolises respect and elegance, while green signifies vitality and prosperity. Choosing grapes during the Lunar New Year brings not only a sense of abundance but also a connection to meaningful qualities like respect, elegance, vitality, and prosperity. Another popular food choice is fish as the Chinese character for fish “魚” (yú) reads exactly the same as the character for plenty “余”. Eating fish for the Year End dinner symbolises having plenty of wealth every year. Traditional foods are often deeply rooted in the history of a community and hold great significance in traditions. Exploring food with your students highlights new cultural aspects and can be a great way to try new things! Host a Traditional Attire Day Encourage students to dress in traditional Lunar New Year attire or colours. This could include traditional Chinese clothing like the qípáo or chángshān, or simply wearing red and gold to symbolise good luck. Other colours students can wear include: Yellow – to bring happiness, good health, and longevity. Green – representing harmony, growth, renewal, and prosperity. Blue – symbolising stability, trust, and wisdom. This not only allows students to engage with the culture but also promotes a sense of unity and inclusivity within the classroom. Our Chinese Classical Dance workshop features our presenter’s bright, and vibrant traditional attire that is always fun and visually engaging for students of all ages! This program is available in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia. Facilitate or host performances and presentations Organise student performances or presentations that showcase talents related to Lunar New Year. This could include traditional dances or music performances. It’s a great way for students to take ownership of their learning and share their understanding with their peers. Alternatively, host a cultural performance or cultural workshop; welcoming a range different artforms to appreciate! Always a popular favourite for schools, our Chinese Lion Dance program is available in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Australian Capital Territory. Available in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, our Chinese Classical Music program presents the origins of Chinese classical instruments and how music is an integral contributor to the harmony and longevity of society. For an interactive all-day option, our Chinese Culture for a Day program is available in New South Wales and Victoria, featuring workshops such as Lion Dance, martial arts, a drumming workshop, folk dancing, and calligraphy. Include Lunar New Year themed readings Incorporate Lunar New Year themed readings into your curriculum. Choose stories or books that highlight the cultural aspects of the festival or feature stories set during the Lunar New Year. As mentioned earlier, 2024 is Year of the Dragon, and one of the most widely told Chinese mythological legends is of The Dragon and the Pearl; often featured in traditional art. The tale unfolds in a rural province in central China, governed by a greedy emperor. Faced with famine and thirst, a young boy stumbles upon a unique grassy field that regrows overnight with each plow. Unearthing a hidden pearl beneath the turf, he brings it home. When the boy hides the pearl in a rice sack, the once-thriving grass field withers, but the rice sack overflows. Sharing their newfound prosperity with neighbours, news of their good fortune reaches the emperor. To protect the precious pearl, the boy swallows it and transforms into a dragon; dedicating himself to safeguarding the land and its people. Unlike Western culture where they are considered evil or are associated with Satan due to references in the Book of Revelation, dragons in the east are symbols of good fortune; of luck, of wisdom, the progenitor of power and creation. They are rain deities and protectors of the people. The pearl, serves as a symbol of wisdom, spiritual energy, and power. Stories like The Dragon and the Pearl not only expands students’ literary horizons but also deepens their understanding of different customs and traditions. Book your Lunar New Year celebrations now! Explore our cultural education programs available Australia-wide to celebrate Lunar New Year for the beginning of the new year! For more culturally significant dates to celebrate in the classroom, have a look at Cultural Infusion’s expertly designed Cultural Calendar. Celebrating Lunar New Year in the classroom is a wonderful opportunity to foster cultural awareness and appreciation among students. By engaging in diverse activities, decorations, and learning experiences, educators can create an inclusive environment that celebrates the rich cultures represented within their classrooms. Embracing traditions and instilling a sense of curiosity about different cultures contributes to a well-rounded and culturally competent educational experience.