Pitt House: Spring News

The start of the Spring Term has been as started as busy as ever, with the girls balancing their academic studies, extra-curricular activities and, for many girls the preparation for Nationals Lacrosse, regional netball and squash competitions in the second half of term.

Congratulations to Judy

It is not only future success that we have been focussing upon this term but also celebrating the achievements at the end of last term. Of particular note was Judy’s incredibly successful British Mathematical Olympiad competition where she was awarded a distinction for the Year 12 category across England, Wales and overseas. Her score meant that she was in the Top 50 performers at BMO1.

Judy (LVI)

Lunar New Year: The Year of the Rabbit

Nadia has written a beautiful piece, below, about the celebration of the Lunar New Year and its meaning. She beautifully decorated her dorm doors for the occasion, as did many of the other girls in House.

Nadia wrote:

Chinese New Year is celebrated across the world on the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar, which varies between 21 January and 20 February on the Gregorian calendar. The New Year period then lasts for a fortnight. Here is a link that demonstrates the overlap of the two calendars from 1901 – 2100 (or simply search up Gregorian-Lunar Calendar Conversion Table)

That being said, it is only right to acknowledge that numerous cultures celebrate this event (it is broadly called Lunar New Year), and although I – as are many – am accustomed to calling it Chinese New Year, it is not restricted to China in any way! 

This year, Chinese New Year began on 22 January, which resulted in many overseas pupils being unable to celebrate with family. Despite this, most of us found small ways to celebrate the day. Across Houses, red packets filled with chocolate coins were distributed, and a Chinese New Year evensong was hosted that night, both of which were lovely gestures that I hope will continue at school. For those who are unaware, ornate, red envelopes filled with money are given to children in exchange for wishes for the New Year. The redness of the envelopes represents all kinds of blessings such as happiness, prosperity, and good luck. It is therefore the envelope itself that is supposed to be cherished, as the money is lucky only by extension (though the money inside is highly favoured).

The Oriental Society also encouraged everyone to try some Chinese calligraphy, which I have not attempted in a long time (the mixed handwriting is quite indicative of that). Pictured below are the results stuck up on the doors of my dorm.

The picture at the top shows a spring couplet, which is composed of a pair of lines with an equal number of characters, their meaning related and antithetical. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the banners and they are read from right to left. Spring couplets are arranged like so, with a four-character horizontal scroll affixed above them. Putting up couplets and banners is a practice that expresses wishes for a better life in the coming year. 

By Nadia (UV)

Here are some translations :                                                                                     

萬象更新, wànxiàng gēngxīn – All is even newer                                                                

兔年喜慶迎新春, tù nián xǐqìng yíng xīnchūn – Rabbit Year jubilantly welcomes the new Spring 

虎歲歡歌除舊疫, hǔ suì huāngē chú jiù yì –    Tiger Year sings to eliminate old disease

 新年快樂, xīn nián kuài lè – Happy New Year                                                                                 

身体健康, shēn tǐ jiàn kāng – In good health

兔年大吉, tù nián dàjí – Great luck in the year of the Rabbit 

學業進步, xuéyè jìnbù – Academic progress

I hope everyone who celebrates the Lunar New Year has had a joyous New Year period (as it recently ended on 5 February), and a joyous Year of the Rabbit to come. 

Becoming a Boarder

One of our Pitt Day girls in UV, became a boarder in the LVI. Here Anoushka shares what it has been like for her boarding after a full term.

“Becoming a full boarder was an easy transition for me! Having spent the previous five years at Wycombe as a day boarder, I felt as though I was finally fully immersed in Pitt life! Being able to actively participate in all the evening activities made all the difference as I could finally get to know everybody in House properly. The pandemic meant that day girls were not perhaps as involved in day-to-day House life, so becoming a boarder could potentially have been more challenging. However, everybody was so welcoming, it felt as though I had always been a boarder. One bonus is not waking up at the crack of dawn to beat the Wycombe traffic to School…and the LVI rooms are not bad either (ensuite bathrooms)!” 

And finally…

Our range of House activities continues to encourage the girls to widely participate in baking, cooking, artwork, board games and of course our Wednesday ‘Something hot… to try’. This has become a much-loved evening event and earlier in the term, the girls enjoyed making a Chinese curry for New Year. It was very special to see all the girls in the kitchen that evening explaining their culture, meanings and different foods.