What is chinese new year ? Bright red lanterns, yummy dumplings, red-envelopes, and are those firecrackers I hear?
It must be time for Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year called chūn jiē or “Spring Festival”, takes place on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar.
This is why Chinese New Year is sometimes celebrated in January and sometimes in February!
Chinese New Year is a very important holiday for the Chinese people.
In fact, it’s the biggest festival of the year!
Most people will take the entire week off and travel back to their home town to meet up with family and friends.
Traditionally, the Chinese people share the New Year Eve meal around a round table in a celebration known as tuán yuán,
which literally means “a round gathering.”
It’s similar to Christmas and Thanksgiving in this way except, instead of turkey and stuffing, the Chinese New Year dinner table is filled with other mouthwatering dishes.
One super popular dish is the dumplings because they are shaped like traditional gold nuggets and therefore, they symbolize good fortune.
Another popular dish is the fish yú because it puns with the Chinese idiom nián nián yǒu yú,
which means there is so much good fortune that there are leftovers every year.
After the dinner, elders in the family will bless children by gifting them red envelopes known as hóng bāo and guess what’s inside?
Speaking of red, that’s by far the most popular color you will see during Chinese New Year: red lanterns hanging from street lamps,
red wall couplets called duì lián glued around doors everywhere, and even red fire-crackers popping in the streets!
Why all the red? Well
Legend tells us that a long long time ago in ancient China, there once lived a horrible monster named NIAN.
NIAN’s head had a wicked looking horn and NIAN’s teeth were long and sharp , sharper than the sharpest of knives!
Every year, around this time, Nian would rise from the deepest part of the sea and come to terrorize Chinese villages.
In those days, the Chinese people lived in great fear of this terrible beast.
But one day, a strange old man appeared and told the villagers to hang red lanterns on the streets, attach red couplet scrolls on every door, and dress head to toe all in red.
They nervously waited.
But that year, when NIAN approached the village, all it saw was red-red-red.
As it turned out, red was NIAN’s most feared color.
Then all of a sudden, the sound of POP-POP-POPPING firecrackers filled the air and NIAN ran for his life, To this day, the color red and firecrackers remain the strongest traditions for Chinese New Year.
This story may also explain why the word Year is pronounced nián in Chinese and why the celebration of Chinese New Year is called guò nián.
which has the double meaning of “passing the year” and “beating the NIAN beast”.
It’s almost Chinese New Year so let’s learn a few popular blessings we can use ,when we meet people during this time.
On the first day of the New Year, friends and family visited each other. Congratulations did not suffer from the “NIANr” damage, escaped this difficult relationship with “NIAN”, so “NIAN” is also known as “year”, which is also the origin of New Year.
xīn nián kuài lè，wàn shì rú yì
Happy New Year, Best Wishes to You
xīn nián kuài lè，wàn shì rú yì
And you are a kid, you can even say: gōng xǐ fā cái，hóng bāo ná lái
I’m wishing that you get really rich, so give me that red envelope now!
gōng xǐ fā cái，hóng bāo ná lái
xīn nián kuài lè ！
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