Dorchester youngsters explored and appreciated a different culture as they celebrated Chinese New Year.

Pupils at St George's Primary School in Clarence Road welcomed their parents into school to join in with an array of arts and crafts revolving around Chinese New Year.

The students learnt all about the story behind Chinese New Year and one of its key characters, Nian.

Pupils Katelyn Irvin and Chloe Masters wrote to the Echo to tell us all about their day.

They said: "The story is about a scary monster called Nian, he used to come to a little village and terrorise the people who lived there.

"Luckily, an old traveller came along and needed food, an old woman helped, and he returned her kindness by helping scare the beast away."

The pair added they learnt Nian is afraid of the colour red, fire, and loud noises.

As a result, Katelyn and Chloe said red is a symbol of good luck in China and red envelopes are handed out to single mothers and children.

"In China, they usually have a festival including a parade and fire crackers to do with the myth of Nian. It is a very special celebration because Chinese New Year only comes round once a year and lasts 15 days which is fantastic" they said.

This year, 2019 is the year of the pig according to the Chinese zodiac and starts from February 5, 2019 (Chinese New Year) and lasts until to January 24, 2020.

Pupils also learnt how it is tradition in China to clean out your house in preparation for new year as it represents a fresh start.

During the day, Year 1 and Reception class made a Chinese dragon out of egg boxes while Year 2 made a Chinese dragon using handprints.

Years 3 and 4 created a beautiful Chinese blossom tree collage and Years 5 and 6 made origami fans.

Katelyn and Chloe said: "All of the school made a huge, gigantic, amazing and extremely long Chinese dragon. We worked on it all week and it looks wonderful. It is made out of a paper base, painted paper plates as scales, and also coloured foil."

"We have had an incredible time this week at St Georges Primary School and we hope you like looking at some of our pictures."