In celebration of Chinese New Year, South West College Confucius Hub went all out to mark the Year of the Dragon with a full day of festivities at the Dungannon campus on Tuesday, February 20th.

The day started with 140 primary school children from St Mary’s PS, Pomeroy, Lisbellaw PS, and Edendork PS, Dungannon participating in a range of Chinese cultural activities led by SWC Confucius Hub Mandarin tutors. From Calligraphy Brush Writing to traditional Chinese dress try-ons, the students had a blast immersing themselves in the rich culture and learning more about Chinese New Year.

In the evening, 60 guests, stakeholders and award winners attended Restaurant One Eighty and were treated to a feast of delicious and authentic Chinese food prepared, cooked and served by South West College catering and hospitality students.

Guests were welcomed to the event by Edendork Primary School Junior Choir who sang songs in Mandarin with guests commenting how wonderful to see what they were learning in their Mandarin lessons showcased so beautifully at the event. In between courses guests were enthralled at the Peking Face Changing performance and the evening concluded with beautiful singing from SWC Confucius Hub Mandarin Chinese tutors.

A number of programme successes were highlighted, including the Year of the Dragon Poster Competition. With 5582 entries from schools across Northern Ireland, SWC Confucius Hub partner schools had 13 out of 20 prize winners. Four prize winners and their families were able to attend the Gala Event and represented McClintock Primary School, Seskinore, St Patrick’s Primary School, Derrygonnelly, Howard Primary School, Dungannon and St Mary’s Primary School, Mullaghbawn.

Linda Beatty, Confucius Hub Project Officer, expressed her delight at the event, and said:

“South West College's annual celebration of Chinese New Year is a highlight for us every year, bringing together students, teachers, and guests to develop academic, cultural and social ties between Northern Ireland and China as well as showcase the incredible work being done in our Confucius Hub and although the main event was hosted in Dungannon campus, many activities have taken place in SWC Confucius Hub’s partner schools whereby children have been able to learn more about Chinese culture and celebrations.”

“The growth of our Mandarin Chinese Language & Culture classes across counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh, and Down has been phenomenal, with 40 schools and 4000 students enrolled for the 2023/2024 year.”

“The British Council's report titled 'Languages for the Future' further underscores the importance of Mandarin as a crucial language for the UK's future, highlighting the need for cultural understanding and global awareness among young people.”

“Any school that may be interested in offering Mandarin Chinese classes, South West College Confucius Hub provides free tuition, resources, and dedicated support. Evening classes are also available at each of our campuses in Omagh, Enniskillen and Dungannon.”

For more information, contact Linda Beatty at or 028 8225 5220.