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Sandie Angel

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Legend of The Chinese New Year
By Sandie Angel
Friday, January 05, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Legend of The Chinese New Year...

On February 18, 2007 the Chinese will celebrate the first day of the New Year (The Year of the Pig).

The Chinese New Year day does not fall on the same day every year as it does on the Roman calendar. It holds its own horoscope by the years consisting of 12 animals signs for a 12 year-cycle - beginning from the year of the Rat, followed by the Ox, then the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon…and the list just goes on until it reaches the Pig; and then the cycle will begin from the Rat once again.

The Chinese New Year is an important celebration. Chinese people from all over the world celebrate this New Year’s Day by visiting each other, and congratulating each other. They wish each other good luck and good fortune, happiness and long life.

There are also similar celebrations in Japan, Korea and Vietnam as well, they are known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.

But just how did this Chinese New Year began? What is its legend? When did the Chinese New Year begin?

There are many different versions of the legend of the Chinese New year. I’m going to share with you one that I have heard of when I was a little girl…

Many thousands and thousands of years ago, there was a small village in China. Its villagers were being terrorized by a monster. This monster came to this small village once every year to eat its villagers. Whenever this monster shows up at the village, many villagers would be missing the following day.

Soon, on the night the monster was supposed to arrive, all the villagers got together to scheme up a plan to destroy this monster. They wanted to at least frighten this evil monster away. The villagers decorated the front of their houses with bright red banners, burn the fire crackers to make loud noises to scare off the monster, some played drums loudly to make noises; and some took it upon themselves to be lions and did the lion dance to the beat of the drums. Believe this or not, by doing this they had actually scared the monster away, it had never come to attack the village and its inhabitants during that night. The following morning, all the villagers were still alive. They were so happy that they congratulated each other for being lucky and alive!

The following year when the time the monster was supposed to arrive, the villagers repeated the same ceremony. They put red banners in front of their houses, lit the firecrackers, and did the lion dance. The following day they congratulated each other once again for being lucky and alive; and ever since that time, the Chinese had called this day “The New Year Day.”

Thus the legend of the Chinese New Year was created.

Now every year on the New Year Day of the Chinese calendar, all the Chinese people of the world are still very happy. They visit each other and exchange good wishes. They serve each other fortune cakes and cookies, also some fruits and vegetables of which the names resemble good lucks. Small children get lucky money in little red envelops from adults as a good omen for them to grow up to be adults without any obstacles and dangers.

Many people also wear new clothing, and new shoes. Many wear them in red color to represent happiness; and also as means to fight off the spirits that are of evil.

Special foods are prepared and many snacks are being offered with well-meanings: Eating fish brings long life and good fortune, it is because the sound of the name “fish” is the same sound of “having things left-over”, that is including money. Eating melon seeds will bring new babies to the family, and the red dates are for receiving prosperity and good fortunes.

One must be very careful not to break any dishes, or eat from bowls or plates that are chipped as it is considered bad luck.

The fire-crackers are still being lit, but now this gesture is only as a symbol of celebration. Also, the Lion Dance, and the sound of the drums are still being performed, but it is now more as a form of New Year’s celebration, and to chase all evils away.

With the approaching of the Chinese New Year, I wish to take this opportunity to say:

May the year of the Pig be

the best prosperous year of your life

with fulfillment of joy and happiness!!!

©Sandie May Joyce a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
January 5, 2007


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Reviewed by J. Roseline 6/3/2014
Oknow I know the story behind the Chinese new year , thanks for sharing , well written..Jk
Reviewed by John Coppolella 12/31/2012
Loved the history lesson, Sandie. I did hear about the year of the rat, pig, dragon, etc. You explain it very well by leading with questions and then answering by legends and tradition. I think the monster that comes by once a year has been replaced by the IRS in the USA. What tradition do you celebrate in Toronto?
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 1/26/2012
I don't know how I missed this one, but I am glad I found it now, great story Sandie, and you are such a talented artist as well as a story teller!!!
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Mary Coe 2/18/2008
Very interesting. Enjoyed.
Reviewed by H Cruz 1/7/2007
Interesting, I hate to think of what the pig would mean as a metaphor. Perhaps were in for a wet muddy year or just a stinky one, or as they say back in farm country " a real porker"... :)
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/7/2007
Beautiful story and illustrations, Sandie; very well done! BRAVA!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 1/6/2007
Thank you for sharing this most informative write, Sandie. Best wishes to you with love and peace,

Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines 1/6/2007
Sandi, this is a really neat story.

Would it be possible for me to use this story on the "Holidays" page of my little Website? So far, I only have the Roman New Year history, and this would be a wonderful addition.

Great piece of writing, Sandie!

Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 1/6/2007
what a legend and what a write my friend, I am so glad that you posted this write. I am currently teaching on diverse cultures and holidays to my students, we touched on Chinese New year last week, what a great write of information that will help me explain this holiday to my students....Your illustration is beautiful Sandie...I am amazed at your artwork the details are should do a series of art prints...
Joyce Bowling
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar 1/5/2007
What a legend. This world is filled with them. Happy year of the Pig even if it sounds funny to us. Victor
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 1/5/2007
"Kung Hey Fat Choy" to you Sandie! I love stories that share cultural history or tale...The year of the Pig? This will be a happy year!(Mud and all!) :)
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 1/5/2007
very enjoyable and instructive read thanks a million for sharing it funny too about the melon seeds, etc. You take care and have many friends to keep you busy!
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/5/2007
Most interesting and insightful offering!!

Kung Hey Fat Choy...sounds to me like "Hey King Fat Chop" well with the fat piggy thingy!!

Anyways "Kung Hey Fat Choy" to you too Sandie!!

Love Tinka

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