The man-eating predatory beast Nian has been terrorising the villagers for centuries. Every year, on Chinese New Year eve, it crawls out of the sea to wreck havoc and feast. Year after year, the villagers retreat with their old and young deep into the mountains to hide.

One New Year’s Eve a strange old man appears in the village and refuses to hide, declaring that he alone will defeat the beast. Surely he can’t succeed?

I told this traditional Chinese New Year story at a number of different locations in London this year. In North London pupils brought it to life through music and drama! And at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses our Early Years Storytelling group finished with a noisy procession.

Photo credit: Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses