Sunday, September 2, 2012

The origins of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)

The spring festival or lunar new year is the year-end holidays in the Chinese calendar, commonly called the "new year". A celebration of the traditional feast of the most festive and solemn among the Chinese people. Prior to January 1 (Chinese calendar) there is a ceremony of prayer, a memorial to those who died and other ceremonies: in the feast there angpao giving to children, friendship antarfamili and friends and other celebrations, after a mid-day feast was Capgomeh party lanterns at night, and after the party passed the night Capgomeh lanterns filled with decorative lanterns all over the city, the feast of the new spring festival actually considered expired.History of the spring festival is very long, its origin comes from prayer ceremonies commemorate ancestors and praying to god when the new year during the Yin and Shang Dynasties. And about various mythology too many.

The myth of the "Year" Animals

There is an ancient legend that tells of the origin of the tradition of Chinese New Year celebrations in China, here's the story:
Once upon a time there was an evil monster that has a long head and sharp horn. Monster called Nian is very fierce, she dwells bottom of the ocean, but every new year he appeared to land to attack the villagers and livestock swallowing. Therefore each before the new year, the entire village was always hiding behind the mountains to avoid this Nian monster attacks.

On New Year's Eve in a year, the people in the countryside were bolster and guide parents of small children to go to the mountains to avoid the catastrophe, and from outside the country came a beggar grandfather, his hand holding a cane, looks old but healthy, full of vitality and enthusiasm is outstanding.

People compatriot was busy packing, there is a busy guiding cattle herding sheep, seems a hasty atmosphere and scary. And at such times, there is no one who concentrates attention to the grandfather beggar.

Just a kindly grandmother at the east end of the village that gives food to a beggar's grandfather, as well as recommend him to immediately go to the mountains to avoid. The old man said: "Grandma, if you allow me to stay overnight in your home, I will definitely repel the monster.

The grandmother thought that his grandfather was joking, then continue to persuade his grandfather to immediately go to the mountain, but grandpa beggar shook his head would not go away. The grandmother was helpless, would not want to leave his house and yourself to go to the mountains to escape the disaster.

At midnight, a monster "Nian" broke into the village. He was found at the east end of the house of the grandmother, the door plastered with large red paper, and in the house illuminated with candle lights are very bright. Monster glanced angrily to her grandmother's house, and immediately lunged to her grandmother's house, shouting angrily. When nearing the entrance, suddenly heard the sound of explosions firecrackers in the inner room, and her whole body shaking chills, and did not dare to approach again.

Apparently, the monster is afraid of red, light a fire and an explosion. And in that moment, the door was wide open, in the house seemed an old man whose body was wrapped in a red robe. I was so shocked monster "Nian" turned and scuttled.
On the second day is January 1, people who returned from the camps were very surprised to see the village in a state of safety and security. At that time my grandmother realized what had happened, and told him about his grandfather's promise to the people of beggars compatriot.

People flocked to compatriot grandmother's house, and it looks just patches of red paper on the door Grandma's house, in the yard there is a pile of firecrackers that survives still explosive, and some red candles in the house with the rest of the light still burning.

The old man is actually the Gods who came to help villagers expel these nian monster. They also found three tools used to drive the old man Nian.

People who compatriot merry rollicking new clothes and hats, visited the homes of family and friends congratulate greetings and celebrate peacefully and safely passed that day. Thus, everyone has to know how to safely dissipate the animal named "Year" in the new year.

Since then, every celebration of the Chinese New Year they put red cloth, set off firecrackers and lanterns lit all night, waiting for the New Year, keep up late and waiting for the turn of the year. January 1 morning, still had to visit the family home and friends to congratulate the new years. This tradition is more and more widely spread, and a traditional feast of the most solemn of Chinese people.

Starting from that, these customs eventually spread out and become a traditional celebration of the majestic Chinese people in welcoming the "passing of Nian" (in Chinese, nian mean years)

The Chinese always associate the time period from 23 days to up to 30 in 12 twelve lunar months of the year just before the Day of the Lunar New Year as a "small Nian".

Every Chinese family is required to clean up the environment in which they live to welcome the new year. Besides cleaning the environment, every Chinese family making various dishes welcome Lunar made ​​from chicken, duck, fish and beef / pork, as well as sweets and fruits. Not to forget also the parents buy new clothes for their children and prepare Angpao gifts while visiting relatives and family.

When New Year's Eve arrived, the whole family gathered together. In the northern region of China, every family has a tradition of eating apple dumplings, which in Chinese language was called Jiao, same pronunciation with the word in Chinese, so the apple dumplings as a symbol of togetherness and family happiness. Jiao also significant addition coming new year. Region of southern China, people love to eat sweets New Year cake (made from sticky rice flour), which symbolizes the sweetness of life and make progress in the New Year (in Chinese language the word "cake" and "making progress" has the same pronunciation word Gao) Towards 12 o'clock at night, each family will set off firecrackers.

The first day of the Lunar New Year, Chinese people use new clothes and congratulate older people. Children who say the new year older, will get Angpao money. While the second and third day, they were visiting friends and relatives nearby.
During the time of the celebration of Chinese New Year, in general, the streets crowded trade area with families shopping for Chinese Lunar purposes. In some places abroad are usually held various entertainment events such as the welcome the Lunar New Year and the Dragon Lion Dance performances, flower markets and temple fairs.

After the 15th day of the first month in the Lunar calendar, is a time of the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Lunar New Year celebrations.

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