History OF Chinese New Year
Thousand years ago, one of the most famous legends is Nian. Nian was extremely cruel and ferocious beast. It eats people on New Year’s Eve. Therefore, many people were very scared about Nian. They tried to think many ways to chase away Nian.
To keep Nian away, red-paper couplets are pasted on doors, and firecrackers are set off throughout the night because Nian is said to fear the red color, the light of fire and loud noises. After that, Nian is gone and people began to enjoy their peaceful life. From then on, the tradition of conquest of Nian is carried on from generation to generation. The term “Guo Nian” which means “Survive the Nian” has becomes today “Celebrate the (New) Year”. The word “guo” in Chinese have the same meaning of “pass over” and “observe”.
How Chinese New Year is Celebrated
Chinese New Year falls in the month of January or February. It is a fifteen day celebration that falls on different date each year. The Chinese New Year’ date is decided according to the calendar which is a combination of the solar and the lunar calendar. People believed in the Chinese calendar resemble an animal (Rat, Ox, tiger, rabbit,dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar).The New Year lasted for fifteen days which the concentration is on the first three days. This celebration ends with Chap Goh Mei on the fifteenth day.There are Four ways that usually practise by people to celebrate Chinese New Year
1.Decorate Their Home
Before Chinese New Year, families will decorate their homes with lucky color and they often paint their doorways with red color. Some of the families will hang banners and spring couplets with “Good Wish” on the walls or ceilings. Besides, they also put paper lanterns around the house and other fun decorations. They will also place oranges and tangerines in the house as a sign of happiness and luckiness.
2.New Clothes, Shoes & hairstyle
People who celebrate Chinese New Year often buy new clothes or new fashion to start the New Year with a fresh mood. They consider wearing red or gold color of clothes means luckiness. They avoid wearing a lot of black color throughout the New Year because it is a symbol of bad luck. People will also purchase new shoes and change their hairstyle before Chinese New Year.
3.Chinese New Year Eve
The eve of the New Year is the most important occasion because all the relatives will gather together at that time to have a luxury dinner. After the dinner, families will sit together to have some fun like watching television programmes.
At midnight, each family may light up firecrackers or fireworks to welcome the coming of New Year.
4.Visit to Others House
During Chinese New Year, the family begins to say greetings from door to door, first to their relatives and then to their neighbours or friends. The children and the unmarried adult will be given “Hong Bao”, meaning Red Packet while the married adults do not have.
Calendar of 2011
2011 is the year of Rabbit. Chinese New Year will fell on 3rd of February 2011.