Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is sometimes called the Lunar New Year, especially by people outside China. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī (除夕, abbr. for 年除夕 Niánchúxī, Chúxì in Taiwan). It literally means "Year-pass Eve".

Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Aboriginal Taiwanese people, Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and other countries or regions with significant Han Chinese populations, Chinese New Year is also celebrated, and has, to varying degrees, become part of the traditional culture of these countries. In Canada, although Chinese New Year is not an official holiday, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations and Canada Post issues New Year's themed stamps in domestic and international rates.

Although the Chinese calendar traditionally did not use continuously numbered years, its years are now often numbered from the reign of Huangdi outside China. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various writers, causing the year beginning in 2008 to be 4706, 4705, or 4645.[2]

The 2009 date for Chinese New Year is January 26.

Mythology
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjunlaozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjunlaozu's mount.

The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" (Chinese: 拜年; pinyin: bàinián). New clothings are usually worn to signify a new year. The colour red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets are given to juniors and children by the married and elders. See Symbolism below for more explanation.

All these festivities may vary from region to region and from family to family.

No comments:

Paypal To Register

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

About Me

My photo
Please be often to visit and subscribe for my blog, because that would be really helpful for me. Thank you to read all of my post. If you don't mind come and have a chat with me. ^_^