DOZENS of school children got involved with Chinese New Year celebrations this week in Manningtree.

The celebration, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, takes place on the first new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20.

Pupils from Highfields Primary School, Colchester Road, in Manningtree, decided to honour the occasion in their classrooms and have a special Chinese lunch.

A spokesman from the school said: “The children enjoyed sweet and sour chicken, sticky pork, vegetable chow mein, egg fried rice and prawn crackers and finished off with a chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

“Our kitchen staff decorated the serving hatch and the hall with handmade Chinese lanterns and fans.”

The colour red is often associated with the holiday, and is believed to symbolise joy and good luck.

Other ways people can celebrate the occasion include lantern decorations, fireworks and a dragon or tiger puppet dance.

This year is the year of the pig - which is one of 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac and which rotate in a cycle each year.

Character traits for the year of the pig include being chivalrous, optimistic and frank.

Pigs are also known to be kind and loyal friends and light of heart, but can sometimes be too trusting.

Their best animal character matches are sheep and rabbits out of the other zodiac animals.

The pupils from Highfields Primary School celebrated the occasion with staff members on Tuesday. February 5.