WOKING Chinese School celebrated the Chinese New Year and the coming of the Year of the Tiger with a special programme of events last Saturday.

Following a welcome speech by the headteacher, Mrs Michelle Wong, the show opened with a lion dance – performed to bring prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year – by Tachimi and Rebecca Dsouza, Joshua and Jared Lee, Dominic Man and Abigail Chen, William Hawken and Anita Ho, with Roger James drumming.

There was music and songs performed by the students, Tai chi and broadsword demonstrations performed by Anita and Jasmine Ho and Anna Lai, and a traditional Chinese dance, Cai Wei or picking ferns, performed by Francine Pei, Joy Weng and Jun Li.

During the event, Caishen, the god of wealth walked around bringing prosperity for the new year to the audience and performers.

Woking Chinese School, based at the St John the Baptist School campus in Elmbridge Lane, Old Woking, has been running on Saturdays since 2003. It currently has more than 200 students studying Mandarin and Cantonese, from under 4-year-old children in the playgroups up to A level. There are also classes for adult learners.

It is open to all, both Chinese and non-Chinese. The school has also run Chinese cultural activity classes such as lion dance, Chinese dance, art, calligraphy and kung fu.

The Woking Chinese School is part of the Chinese Association of Woking (CAW). In addition to the Woking Chinese School, CAW also runs a lunchtime social club on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.

CAW, in association with Surrey libraries, supports a collection of Chinese language books within Woking Library. CAW also supports schools and care homes with Chinese cultural activities and shows.

In the past, CAW has staged a popular New Year celebration in Woking town centre. The COVID pandemic has prevented that in recent years, but CAW is hoping the town centre New Year celebration will return in 2023.

For more information, visit www.cawoking.org.uk.

For more pictures of the event, see the 10 February edition of the News & Mail