Sunday, December 17

The Origin of Chinese New Year

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Chinese’s mythology has flowering the daily life for thousand of years. Every festival in Chinese tradition has certain significant in mythology. Today, I would like to share this remarkable story of the origin of Chinese New Year.

It was said thousand of years ago, on the eve of Chinese’s lunar New Year, a beast has been ravaging the village. It was a ferocious and ugly creature with big, ogling eyes and a huge appetite. It came out of the wood and searching for food. It eats everything including human being. Therefore, every year on the eve of the Lunar year, the villagers escaped to the high ground.

Before sundown, they were packing their belonging and taking the fowls, they ran away to avoid the beast. During one eve of the lunar year, a beggar appeared in the village where the villagers are preparing to abandon their village for a night. Instead of leaving, he decided to stay in a old lady’s house.

At night, the beast came from the seas or from the mountain. It has been hibernated for 365 days and only came out once a year to feast. The beast came, but the village was dead quiet with no signs of human being. It was dark but with one exception. The house where the beggar was invited to reside for a day was illuminating with candles. It was bright.

The beast was irritating and barged towards the door. On the door, it has a red paper pasted on it. The beast scratched the door and when the door opened, the beggar was laughing happily and wore bright red clothes. As the beast saw it, it retrieved. The beggar then ignited the fire cracker and threw it outside. The nosily sound of the fire cracker scared the beast away.

The next day came, and the villagers came back. To their utter amazement, their home was safe. No one has been hurt or eaten by the beast. In the old lady’s house where the beggar has been spending a night, they discovered the red paper pasted on the door, the fire cracker which was still burning with sound and the red clothes that left behind. Eventually, they knew the beast was actually afraid of the noise and red colour.

Since then, every eve of the lunar New Year, the Chinese will gather together and having a sumptuous dinner while laughing and talking happily. Besides, they pasted auspicious words in red paper on the door and wore new clothes especially red. At that day, they usually stay overnight in order to defend their homes.

So when the first day of lunar New Year, everyone came out of the house and greeting each other as they survived the night of the hungry beast.

The story of the beast was passing down generation to generation and till this day, Chinese still carried out this tradition. Oh, before I forget, the beast was called “nian” in Mandarin which the word means year. Hence, every year at the first day of lunar New Year, Chinese called it a year.                                                            

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