Rip-roaring beginning to year of the dragon

Staff Nikki Jones and Danielle Goldie teach youngsters Penny Turner (2) and Sam Clipstone (21 months) how to eat with chopsticks during the Chinese New Year-themed activities at Kettering Sure Start Centre on Monday 23rd January 2012.

Staff Nikki Jones and Danielle Goldie teach youngsters Penny Turner (2) and Sam Clipstone (21 months) how to eat with chopsticks during the Chinese New Year-themed activities at Kettering Sure Start Centre on Monday 23rd January 2012.

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Celebrations to mark the start of the Chinese New Year got off to a rip-roaring start.

There were food-tasting sessions and activity sessions to welcome the year of the dragon.

At the Oriental Fusion restaurant in Rockingham Road, Corby, staff and customers took part in festivities on Sunday. Owner Alan Chois said: “We had lion-dancing and firecrackers which are traditional ways of welcoming the new year. The year of the dragon is always lucky for Chinese people because the dragon is strong and powerful.

“I hope that it will be a good new year for everybody and that it will bring prosperity.”

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.

Pupils from Woodnewton: A Learning Community, in Corby, attended and the restaurant made a donation to its library fund.

Yesterday at the Sure Start Centre in Montagu Street, Kettering, parents and children sampled Chinese food supplied by the Lee Garden restaurant in the town.

Charissa Bailey, at the centre, said: “This was the first time we had celebrated the Chinese New Year. Parents and children learned about the Chinese culture and made lanterns and fortune cookies.”

Childminders in Rushden organised a treat for 32 youngsters when they took them along to the Oriental Gourmet restaurant, High Street, in the town, yesterday.

One of the organisers, Andrea Adams, said: “We celebrate Chinese New Year every year and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

And the celebrations continued at St Laurence Lower School, Manor Lane, Wymington, where pupils took part in a host of activities to mark the year of the dragon.