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Pupils, staff and families from across Highgate School have been celebrating Chinese New Year by making video messages to bid you a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Ox.

Our Year 2 Pre-Prep pupils have been working on some gorgeous lantern paintings and Year 1 have made some masks and fans to mark the occasion.

Our Junior School pupils have been creating artwork based on Chinese New Year too. Here’s a depiction of an Ox.

Assistant Head (Projects and Linguistics), Dr Julie Welch along with the Mandarin Department, have collated a list of popular ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in traditional style, which we thought you might like to take part in.

Poetry and Music

‘Second farewell to Cambridge’ by Xu Zhimo is one of the most well known and loved poems in China.  Several members of the Mandarin Department had to learn to recite this poem when they were in school in China. John Rutter (OC) was the first person to set the poem to classical music.  It has huge significance for the Chinese and thousands flock to see the memorial garden of this poet at King’s College every year. You can watch a recital here.

Chinese recipe ideas

Recipes from Ching Huang, who said although she was made in Taiwan, she grew up in North London, and went to one of our partnership schools. See her recipes here. And delicious recipes from Michelin star chef, Andrew Wong here.

A few of our pupils’ favourite recipes are here:

Chinese Braised Pork: Hong Shao Rou 红(hóng) 烧(shāo)

Sesame Chicken 芝(zhī) 麻(ma)鸡(jī) 

Smacked Cucumber 拍(pāi) 黄(huáng) 瓜(guā)

Chinese snowflake cake 雪(xuě) 花(huā) 糕(gāo)


A collection of popular traditional Chinese books for you to discover:

  • 三体The Three-Body Problem
  • 鸿Wild Swans
  • 西游记 Journey to the West
  • 红楼梦Dream of the Red Chamber
  • 三国演义Three Kingdoms
  • The story of China: a portrait of a civilisation and its people by Michael Wood

Chinese Culture

  • 道德经Tao Te Ching
  • 孙子兵法Sun Tzu’s The Art of War


  • 别告诉她 The Farewell
  • 无间道 Internal Affairs
  • 卧虎藏龙 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • 少林足球 Shaolin Soccer
  • 叶问Ip Man
  • 饮食男女Eat Drink Man Woman
  • 喜宴The Wedding Banquet
  • 大圣归来 Monkey King: The Hero is Back (animation)
  • 花木兰 Mulan – Live Action or Animated

Chinese TV Dramas

  • 喜羊羊与灰太狼 Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (animation, for children)
  • 棋魂 Hikaru No Go
  • 一家人之名 Go Ahead
  • 穿越火线 Cross Fire
  • 陈情令 The Untamed (Costume drama)
  • 微微一笑很倾城 Love 020
  • 射雕英雄传 Legend of the Condor Heroes