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Chinese Spring Festival

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Chinese spring festival l.jpg

Chinese Spring Festival

Louise S. McGehee School

English I

2005

Gabby & Hilary


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History

Legend says that long ago there was a very strong and ugly monster named Nian that lived in the mountains. On the first and fifteenth of every month he would come down from the mountains and hurt the people of the village. A wise man in the village thought that the panic of the people actually made the monster more vicious.

He spread his ideas, and when Nian returned, they made loud noises by beating on gongs and drums, lighting bamboo, and setting off fireworks, the things that Nian hated most, and he quickly retreated. Today they still celebrate driving the monster off at the end of each year by setting off fire- works and playing on gongs and drums.


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Celebration Preparation

  • Occurs after homes are cleaned, debts paid, hair cut, and new clothing has been purchased.

  • Homes are decorated with finely written poems.

  • “People burn incense at home and in the temples to pay respects to ancestors and ask the gods for good health in the coming months” (“Spring Festival”).

(“Chinese Wall Scroll”)


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Rooster’s Significance

  • This Year’s Chinese New Year – February 9, 2005 (Ends 1/28/2006)

  • Each year the Chinese calendar follows a different animal. This current year, 2005, is the year of the Rooster.

  • People born in this year are described in having “a flamboyant personality, feisty and obstinate. [They are] quite the extrovert who [love] to strut [their] stuff and [are] proud of who [they are.] Outwardly confident, the Rooster is also a trustworthy, hardworking individual” (“The Rooster”).

(“Kam Leung”)


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The Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days:

Day 1 – Meat is not consumed to ensure a longer and happier life.

Day 2 – People pray to their ancestors and gods. Dogs are also well taken care of, for it is said to be their birthday.

Day 3 & 4 – Sons-in-law pay tribute to their parents-in-law.

Day 5 – Everyone stays home to welcome the God of Wealth.

Day 6 – Relatives and friends are visited for good fortune and health.

Day 7 – Farmers display their products for sale.

Day 8 – Family reunion and dinner is held, as is a prayer to the God of Heaven.

Day 9 – Offerings are made to the Jade Emperor.

Days 10-12 – Friends eat dinner together.

Day 13 – Simple meals are only consumed on this day.

Day 14 – Preparations for the following day are made.

Day 15 – Parades commence, fireworks are lit and drums and gongs are played.

(“Comments”)


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All brooms, dustpans, and cleaning supplies are put away on the eve of the festival to keep the fortune of the New Year.

Fireworks are set off to welcome the New Year.

At the stroke of midnight, all doors and windows are opened to release the old year.

All debts should be paid, and nothing lent out, or you shall lend all year.

Foul language should not be spoken on the New Year.

Superstitions

Spring Festival Superstitions:

  • If you cry on the New Year’s day, you shall cry all year.

  • People shouldn’t wash their hair on the New Year, or they will wash their luck away.

  • Red is worn, as it is considered a bright and happy color, ensuring a bright and happy year.

  • Children & unmarried adults are given new, crisp dollar bills to bring them good luck in the New Year.


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Chinese Decorations

Decorating for New Year’s is also very important. Families decorate their living rooms with vases of pretty flowers, trays of oranges, and candy trays. Poems and blessings are written on red paper and placed on doors and windows. Every house should be filled with blooming plants because plants show wealth.

(“Chinese Wall Scroll”)


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Works Cited

"Chinese New Year Decorations." Decorations. 2003. Elena Malec. 6 January 2005.

< http://www.virtourist.com/america/san-francisco/photoindex.html >.

"Chinese Dragons." Dragons. 2004. Wolf Productions. 6 January 2005.

< http://www.wolfdragon.net/animals/dragons/trad_chinese.jpg>.

"Chinese Wall Scroll." Wall Scroll. 2003. Feng Shui International. 5 January 2005.

< http://www.fengshui-shop-online.com/success.html >.

“Comments.” Kerry Edwards. 2004. 5 January 2005.

< http://blog.johnkerry.com/blog/archives/week_2004_02_01.html >

Kam Leung. “Chinese Gold Plated Painting – Rooster.” Fun Alliance.com. 6 January 2005.

< http://funalliance.com/all/goldf/htm/437000037.htm >.

“The Rooster.” Lovegevity. 2004. Lovegevity.com. 5 January 2005.

< http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Rooster.htm >.

Shun, Jun. “Dragon.” Chinese Symbols. About, Inc. 11 January 2005.

< http://chineseculture.about.com/library/symbol/blcc_dragon.htm >

“Spring Festival.” Chinavista. 2002. Xindeco. 5 January 2005.

< http://www.chinavista.com/experience/spring/spring.html >.


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