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The Chinese New Year - Welcoming a new beginning

Updated on June 17, 2011

Welcoming a new beginning

Falling on the second week of February, Chinese New year is considered as a lucky time to have successfully conquered the old confrontations in life and to welcome the new with “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Literally a transition from old to new.

Celebrated as a grand festival lasting for fifteen days, it  is welcomed with Prayers,  elaborate Decorations, Feast, festivities,Greetings and gifts. The ceremony starts from the previous day of the New year’s eve, when each family cleans the house followed by rendering prayers and offerings to their Gods and end the day with a display of dazzling fireworks.

Chinese New Year Wallpapers

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The legend of Chinese New Year is associated with a beast named Nian who lived at the bottom of the sea. Every year during new year’s eve, he used to go to the villages and trouble the people, till they all took refuge in a tall mountain. One new year day, an old man came to a village. Inspite of the villagers’ warnings he stayed back till Nian came along. As soon as Nian reached the village, he heard the noise of fire crackers and got scared. His fear increased as he spotted red couplets on the door and well lit candles. He just fled from there.

When the villagers came back they realized what the old man had done to drive away Nian for good. From then on people posted red couplets on their doors, ignited firecrackers and kept their candles lit through out the night of New Year’s Eve.

Hence Red is the auspicious colour associated with New Year in China. On this day Houses and streets are decorated in Red, Gifts are exchanged in Red coloured packets or envelopes and even people wear clothes in various shades of Red. This colour is known to shoo off evil spirits and bad fortunes. It further signifies the onset of luck, happiness, and prosperity.

According to the Chinese custom, Each New Year symbolizes an animal, with different characteristic traits. This year

On this auspicious day a variety of accessories are used for decoration. It comprises traditional Chinese paper lanterns, signs consisting of New Year greetings etc. As per the Chinese myth the animal ruling the year in which a person is born,  influences his or her behavior. There are 12 animal signs. They are Rat, followed by Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Year 2010 is the year of the Tiger

Food forms an integral part on this occasion, each dish representing a particular attribute. Noodles signify long life, while fish implies surplus and success. Lotus Seed denotes many male offspring while Black Moss sea weed is believed to increase wealth. Some of the other foods eaten during this time are bamboo shoots, chicken, dried bean curd and Gingko nut.

Apart from the decorations, feasts and prayers, a magnificent parade adorns the streets with colourful flags, banners, lanterns,drums, splendid lion dances and firecrackers to drive away evil spirits.

Today Chinese New year parades takes place in all the cities around the world. The events extends for three weeks which include a launch celebration, outdoor markets, evening street food stalls, Chinese opera performances, dragon boat races, film festivals and multiple parades.

Its time to welcome another new year, with new hopes, ambitions and Greetings in the local language “Guo Nian Hao” which means happy new year.  

2010- The Year Of The Tiger


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    • LensMan999 profile image

      LensMan999 4 years ago from Trans-Neptunian region

      Hi H P Roychoudhury,

      Ya,festivals are the main platforms that built unity among people. Thanks for your comment.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Enjoyable festival brings unity among all Chinese. Thanks.