CHINESE New Year was celebrated at Teesside care homes with banquets, lanterns and dragons.
Residents, staff and visitors at The Gables and The Beeches care homes joined more than a billion Chinese worldwide in observing the Spring Festival.
At The Gables Care Home, in Middlesbrough, two residents also marked being born in The Year of the Dog, which comes around every 12 years.
Agnes Gibson and Joan Mann took the opportunity to celebrate their birth year 1934 – as 2018 also corresponds with the same Chinese zodiac sign.
Staff at the home decorated the lounges with Chinese fans and lanterns and residents tucked into a meal of chicken chow mein, sweet and sour pork, spring rolls, sesame toast and dim sum.
Resident Kevin McKenna said: “I love Chinese food and I haven’t had it for ages.”
Chris Churchill, home manager at The Gables, on Highfield Road, said: “We had a double celebration at the home, of both Chinese New Year and The Year of the Dog.
“When we found out this year was The Dog we had a look back to see if any of the residents’ birth years matched the Chinese calendar symbol.
“It was a lovely surprise for Agnes and Joan.”
At The Beeches Care Home in Stockton-on-Tees, an arts and crafts workshop was held in preparation for the event, with residents making and decorating paper dragons to hang from the ceiling – a symbol of good luck.
They also enjoyed a Chinese food tasting banquet, with dishes including beef in black bean sauce, egg noodles, sweet and sour chicken, chicken curry and prawn crackers.
The residents then went into the care home’s garden to release lanterns with messages for a happy year ahead.
Resident Doreen Flynn said: “It’s the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. I love it that we get to try all these different things.”
Amy Trattles, activities coordinator at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, said: “It was great to get the residents interested in the traditions of a different culture.
“They really enjoyed tasting different foods from China. Everyone had a great time making the lucky dragons and lanterns as well.”