The Story behind Chinese New Year
So. What’s the story behind Chinese New Year (CNY)? There are various versions of this celebration. According to myths and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a terrible mythical monster called Nian (means ‘year’). He would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children.
A wise old man came to know about it and advised the villagers to ward off the evil Nian by making loud noises with drums and firecrackers and hanging red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors because the Nian is terrified of the color red.
The villagers heeded his advice and the Nian was defeated. On the anniversary of the date, the Chinese recognize the “passing of the Nian” known in Chinese as guo nian (过年), which is also synonymous with celebrating the new year.
Taboos of CNY
1. The entire house must be cleaned before CNY. Put away all brooms, brushes, dust pans and other cleaning equipment. Sweeping cannot be done on CNY because it’s believed that if you do so, good fortune will be swept away.
2. Don’t use sharp cutting objects like knives and scissors on CNY because this is believed to be cutting off your good fortune again.
3. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, every door in the house, and even windows, have to be open to allow the old year to go out.
4. Wear brand new clothes, preferably red, as for the Chinese, red means fortune.
5. Pay off your debts before CNY. During the period of Chinese New Year, it is also said that one should not lend out money. Likewise, you also should not borrow money during Chinese New Year.
Last but not least,….this:
6. Don’t buy books during the 15 days of Chinese New Year. The word ‘book’ in the Chinese language sounds close to the word ‘lose’ in Chinese. You sure won’t wanna start your new year losing anything, especially your luck and fortune. (Oh deeeear! *sob*)
Do all that (I hope I don’t break rule #6 😦 ) and may this Year of the Rabbit bring you lots of joy, peace, wealth, health & happiness! Happy CNY!! 🙂
Those who aren’t celebrating, have a good holiday!
(To view a larger image of the card, please click on it)