Cinese New Year Essay Research Paper The

Cinese New Year Essay, Research Paper

The Chinese New Year is now

popularly known as the Spring Festival because it starts at the beginning of

spring . The beginning of spring is usually around the forth or fifth of

Feburary. It’s origins are too old to be traced but several explanations have

been presented. All agree that the word Nian, now chinese for year, was

originally the name of a monster that started to prey on people the night

before the beginning of the new year. One legend goes that the monster had

an enormous mouth that could swallow a great amount of people in one bite.

One day, an old man came to their rescue, offering to subdue Nian. He said

to the monster,”I hear say that you are very capable, but can you swallow

other beast of prey on earth instead of people who by no means of your

worthy opponents?” So Nian went off and swallowed many of the beast of

prey on earth that also harrassed people and their domestic animals. After

that, the old man disappeared riding Nian. The old man turned out to be an

immortal god and before he left, he told the people to put red paper

decorations on their windows and doors at each year’s end to scare away

Nian in case it sneaked back again, because red is the color the beast feared

the most. From then on, the tradition of observing the conquest of Nian has

been carried on from generation to generation. The custom of putting up red

paper and firing fire-crackers to scare away Nian is still around. However,

people today have long forgotten why they are doing all this, except that they

feel that the color and the sound add to the excitement of the celebration.

Even though the cilmax of the Chinese New

Year, Nian, lasts only two or three days including the New Year’s eve, the

New Year’s celebration extends from the mid-twelfth month of the previous

year to the middle of the first month of the new year. A month before new

years is a good time for business. People will pour out their money to buy

presents, decorations, food and clothing. The transportation department,

railroad in particular, is nervously waiting for the crowds of travelers who

take their days off around New Year to go back home for a family reunion

from all parts of the country. Days before the New Year, every family is

busy cleaning their homes, hoping to sweep away all the ill-fortune there may

have been in the family to make way for the wishful in-coming good luck.

People also give their doors and window panes a fresh coat of red paint.

They decorate thier doors and windows with couplets with the very popular

theme of “happiness”, “wealth”, “longivity”, and “satisfactory marriage with

more children”. Paintings of the same theme are hung inside the house. The

eve of the New Year is carefully planned. At dinner, one the most popular

dish is jiaozi, dumplings boiled in water. “Jiaozi” in chinese means, “to

sleep together and have sons”, a good wish for a family. After dinner, the

whole family stays up and play cards or a board game. Every light in the

house is susposed to be kept on the whole night. At midnight, the whole sky

will be lit up by fireworks. Early the next morning the children recieve gifts

of money wrapped in red paper from thier parents. The family then goes out

greeting relatives and neighbors. During and several days after New Year’s

day people are visiting eachother so they exchange alot of gifts.

Although many of the people who

celebrate Chinese New Year have long since forgotten it’s original meaning, it

remains one of the most culturally rich celebrations around today. In many

ways it is like our Christmas, Forth of July, and New Years all rolled into



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