The Chinese New Year is here! Reach out to your loved ones and wish them good luck and good fortune in their New Year also known as Spring Festival.
The first day of the New Year usually falls on 27 January and it marks the new moon in the Chines calendar.
According to History.com, The 15-day long Chinese New Year celebration originated from an ancient Chinese legend of the monster Nian.
Nian was once the name of a furious monster that lived off human beings in the ancient time. How the festival has some relationship with the monster lies in a story about the origin and development of the Spring Festival.
The monster, according to an article on aboutnews.com, was born to be very ugly and ferocious, which looked like either dragons or unicorns.
“On the first and the 15th of each lunar month, the monster would come down from the mountains to hunt people. So people were very much afraid of it and locked their doors early before sunset on the days of its coming,” quoted the website.
To conquer the monster, the people organised themselves by means of beating drums and gongs, burning bamboo, and lighting fireworks in efforts of making large noises to threaten the hateful monster, thus the Spring Festival.
During the celebrations, the Chinese often greet each other by saying Xin Nian Hao, which means “Happy New Year!” Xin means “new” and Hao means “good.”
Based on the Hong Kong Fast facts website, traditionally, every Chinese person goes to parents’ home to have dinner on the night before Chinese New Year.
However, in the modern times in celebrations, some people still dine home but there are a lot of people eating out too.
“Also, it’s not limited to the night before the new year. Some families will have a big meal the previous weekend before New Year comes,” said the Hong Kong website.
Another Chinese website, China Highlight however said although there are many interesting legends and stories explaining the start of the Chinese New Year festival, the main two reasons for the festival are mainly to celebrate a year of hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family.