Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a celebration mainly celebrated in China, but it is felt all throughout Asia, including our home, Singapore. You most likely know of the celebration, but do you know everything there is to know?

First, how did Chinese New Year originate? According legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian. The Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. The villagers believed that after the Nian ate the food they set out, it wouldn’t attack any more people. Soon after, a villager decided to get revenge on the Nian. A god visited him and told him to put red paper on his house and to place firecrackers. 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, Nian never came to the village again.

Chinese New Year consists of 15 days that have different traditions for each of them. Some traditions are fireworks, gift giving, open markets, and music. If you ever stumble into Chinatown anytime soon, you will see the color red and goats everywhere. The color red represents the red envelopes and lanterns that the Chinese villagers put outside their houses to scare away the Nian. The goats represent 2015 as the year of the goat.

Now go spread your knowledge of Chinese New Year and don’t forget to be wearing your red and set off your firecrackers so that the Nian won’t come back this year.

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