Chinese Spring Festival Louise S. McGehee School English I 2005 Gabby & Hilary History
Chinese Spring Festival
Louise S. McGehee School
Gabby & Hilary
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.
(“Chinese Wall Scroll”)
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.
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.
Spring Festival Superstitions:
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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