SCHOOL children around Darlington have been taking part in celebrations to mark Chinese New Year, ending with a traditional dragon dance in the town centre.

Pupils at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, held a week of themed events to welcome the Chinese year of the snake.

A number of students took part in a dragon dance at Joseph Pease Place, an act that dates from back to the period of the Han Dynasty and is seen as the traditional Chinese new year celebration.

Other activities included a Chinese lantern decorating competition running among the Key Stage three pupils, mini culture workshops and a Chinese banquet style meal in the school canteen.

The academy also organised a trip for 15 pupils to attend the celebrations in Newcastle’s Chinatown.

Chinese language teachers from Hummersknott are also working with local primary schools, Heathfield and Abbey, to deliver a workshop on Chinese culture.

Pat Howarth, head teacher at Hummersknott Academy, said: “Chinese New Year is a huge celebration, and it is becoming more important as we evolve into an ever more multicultural society.

“Hummersknott Academy actively promotes integration by providing Mandarin Chinese lessons as well as education students on Chinese culture.

“The colour, drama and stories of the Chinese new year celebrations really are something to behold. Hummerksnott being able to take part in what is becoming such an important worldwide event, is a great honour.”