Posts Tagged ‘traditional’

February 3, 2011 the first day of the
Chinese new year – Year of the Rabbit..

Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holiday, which is celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese

Year of the Rabbit

The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese Celebrate the Chinese New Yearcalendar and ends on the  15th and is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had a high influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and other countries or regions with significant Han Chinese populations, Chinese New Year is also celebrated, and has, to varying degrees, become part of the traditional culture of these countries.

The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries and in use at the present, which goes back only some 430 years.

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or “Year” in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red, so the villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. They also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From these days onwards the Nian never came to the village again.

Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use the comment way of calling the years by numbers they are using animal signs for the 12 cycles to dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year.

Each of these 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac rule a year, but months, days and hours are also associated with specific animals. The 12 animals are  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig (or Boar) and have different personality traits, likes and dislikes, which all people born under the same year share. Each animal denotes different characteristics and is said to influence the course of life. It is not the size of this animal that makes sense for the whole year, but its inner nature.

The Year of the Rabbit is said to be a peaceful one, with those on either side of it (Tiger and Dragon) known for global unrest and change.

So let’s see what the Year of the Rabbit is bringing us. Happy New Year to all our friends.

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