Since Chinese New Year is coming soon... falls on 18 February 2007, so I just write about: 8 CELEBRATED FACTS ON CHINESE NEW YEAR
THE STORY OF NIAN
Legend has it that in ancient China, “NIAN” (=”YEAR”), a man-eating beast could infiltrate homes silently. The Chinese feared this monster. Later, they devised a plan and scared Nian away with explosions, fireworks and the colour red. Hence “guo nian” means “pass over the year”. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations.
I thought "GUO NIAN" means the CHINESE CELEBRATION.... as CHINA is known as ZHONG GUO in Mandarin....
A monster called “SUI” would come on Chinese New Year’s eve to touch the foreheads of sleeping children, turning normal children insane and smart children mentally retarded. To prevent this, parents stayed up the entire night to watch out for Sui . Modern day tradition, however, has it that children now stay awake on Chinese New Year’s eve to wish their parents longevity.
The first day (“CHU YI”) of Chinese New Year is for the welcoming of the gods. It is also a time when families visit the most senior members of their family, usually their parents, grandparents, or even great grandparents.
Visiting elderly means we will receive "ANG PAO" or red-packets...
The seventh day is known as the common man’s birthday (“REN RI”), the day everyone grows one year older. It is also the day when tossed fish salad, yusheng, is eaten. People get together to toss yusheng and wish for wealth and prosperity. This tradition is commonly celebrated by the Chinese in Southeast Asia.
YU SHENG is a salad that made of certain ingredients with each 'luck' meaning.
The fifteenth day and last day of the new year is celebrated as “YUAN XIAO JIE”, otherwise known as “CHAP GOH MEI” in the Hokkien dialect. It is marked by the eating of “TANG YUAN”, a sweet rice dumpling soup. The same day is also celebrated as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Sweet rice dumpling soup is made from glutinuous rice with peanuts or sesame as its filling.. in Indonesia is also known as RONDE.... oh..............
Red banners with the word “FU”, or Happiness, written on them are hung aroung the house and on the doors. This sign is usually seen hung upside down, since the Chinese word “DAO” or “UPSIDE DOWN”, sounds similar as “DAO” or “ARRIVE”. This symbolizes the arrival of luck or happiness.
(picture taken from internet)
SWEEPING AWAY BAD LUCK
It is believed that thorough cleaning before Chinese New Year sweeps away bad luck and makes homes ready for the arrival of good luck. Brooms and dust pans are put away on New Year’s eve so that good luck can not be swept away.
Rewrite from McDonald (Singapore) tray's paper
Gung Hay Fat Choy! (may prosperity be with you)
Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)
The Chinese New Year is celebrated as the symbol of spring's celebration. In fact in China the Chinese New Year is still called the Spring festival. It is celebrated after the fall harvest and before the spring planting season. The date of the Chinese New Year is always changing and is dependant on the Chinese calendar. Emperor Huangdi in the year 2637 B.C.E invented the Chinese calendar.
(taken from here)