In Chinese culture, one of the most important and most celebrated events of all time is their New Year. Almost 1 billion of Chinese citizens will participate in the Lunar year.
How did the Chinese New Year start?
Fighting off a monster
According to tales, Chinese New Year started when a lion-like monster called Nian (年) and also means “year” that harms people and their properties. During a new moon, the villagers lived in fears and hide from the beast, Nian. Eventually, a brave old man defeated Nian by putting up red colors and setting off firecrackers, and loud sounds.
After the tale of Nian, the lion-like monster, Chinese use firecrackers every New Year to drive off evil spirits. Today, fireworks play a big role in entertainment producing dazzling and colorful patterns across the sky.
It is believed that there is a certain time to set off the firecrackers:
· Before the New Year’s Eve dinner. Most of the Chinese family light firecrackers to invite ancestors to celebrate together or it will attract and adds a joyous atmosphere.
· At 12mn-When the clock strikes at 12, customary to stay up until midnight to make sure they scare away all evil spirits and most especially to celebrate the new year.
· During New Year’s Day morning- They will light firecrackers as soon as they open their doors since it symbolizes good luck
· Lantern Festival- This marks the end of the celebration and to turn aside misfortune and attract more good luck.
Chinese New Year marks the start of the second new moon since China applies the lunar calendar. It is the time to wish prosperity for the year. Traditionally, displaying of red decorations are seen all over the festivity since it is part of driving evil spirits too.
Hong bao is the most common tradition also that represents happiness and good luck. This is a tradition where older people give money and put inside a red envelope.
· House cleaning. Sweeping away the bad luck of the past year
· Pray. On the third day of Chinese New Year, they light incense to pray for blessings and good luck.
· Lion and Dragon dances. The lion symbolizes power, wisdom, and superiority. This dance attracts prosperity and good luck.
· Feast with family
· Putting financial in place
It is well known practiced that paying your debt before the new year starts will bring you more fortune. As well as investing right and resolving arguments before the new year starts. Superstition says that the way you feel during the festivity will determine your character on the next 12 months, so it is best when you feel free and secure.
It begins with a race
Another myth why there are animals according to your year is when the Jade Emperor orders a race. The Emperor invited all the animals and award them that each cycle will be named after them. There are only 12 animals participated and rewarded them according to the sequence of their arrival. The rat is the first one who came that followed by Ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
The Chinese believe that the animal according to your year has a great influence on your personality and destiny. These interpretations and predictions are just guidelines, but it is you who will decide and react on all circumstances.
The Chinese New Year is a good time to reflect on the passing year and celebrate another one for a good future. It is a great time to experience the festivities and learn more about the culture in China.