According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the "Year".
2017 is a year of the Rooster according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated this Saturday (January 28). 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:
To celebrate a year of hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family
To wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year
Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year. Chinese traditionally celebrated the start of a new year of farm work, and wished for a good harvest (when most were farmers). This has now evolved to celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.
The "Year" looks like an ox with a lion head and inhabits in the sea. At the night of New Year's Eve, the "Year" will come out to harm people, animals, and properties. Later, people found that the "Year" fears the color red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, for self-protection, people formed the habit of posting red Dui Lian (Chinese poetry) in front of their house as well as launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns at year end.
And oh scaring the beast off with a dragon!
The Chinese’ main traditional celebrations of the festival include eating reunion dinner with family, giving red envelopes, firecrackers, new clothes, and decorations. More modern celebrations include watching the CCTV Gala, instant message greetings, and cyber money gifts.
Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families.
The New Year's Eve dinner is called "reunion dinner", and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together.
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