Pupils at The Firs School in Chester have been learning about Chinese traditions to celebrate the new Year of the Horse, which is said to bring prosperity and wealth.

The youngsters, in Years 3 and 4, learnt to say Happy New Year in Cantonese (Gong Hei Fat Choi) and Mandarain (Gong Xi Fa Cai).

Teachers of Mandarin at The Queen’s School Penny Lynch and Peipei Zhang, gave a slide show presentation, telling the story of how Nian, a sea monster who had terrorised a village in China for many years, was driven away by one man’s resourcefulness.

He chased the monster away with firecrackers and the colour red, which Nian feared.

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At Chinese New Year people traditionally wear red clothes and give children ‘lucky money’ contained in red envelopes.

The youngsters also learnt about the traditional Lantern Festival and the dragon dance.

The children worked in groups to perform a lively, colourful dragon dance accompanied by some atmospheric Chinese music.