Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year

Malena Lilly, Staff Writer

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We are all familiar with the well known Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year as it’s called. This year it’s year of the Dog. But do you really know about it’s origins and traditions?  First off the Lunar New Year is part of an entire Lunar calendar full of holidays similar to American holidays but also different, new, and original holidays. The Lunar New Year is believed to have started during the Shang Dynasty [ 1766 – 1122 BC ] With a fight against a horrific monster known as Year, The “Year” looks like an ox with a lion head and lives in the sea. At the night of New Year’s Eve, the “Year” will come out to hurt  people, animals, crops, and properties. Later, people found that the “Year” fears the color red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, for self-protection, people started hanging red Dui Lian in front of their house as well as launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns at year end.

Some of the traditional foods are Noodles – happiness and longevity, Dumplings and spring rolls – wealth, Tangyuan (sweet rice balls) – family togetherness, Niangao (glutinous rice cake) – higher income or status, Tangerines and oranges – fullness and wealth, Fish – an increase in prosperity, as you can see all of the foods have meaning and are thought to produce prosperity.  Another tradition is the young receiving red envelopes typically filled with money from your family and family friends, also people thoroughly clean their house the day before and settle all of their disputes they’ve had during the year – potentially cancelling out the possibility of negative/bad luck in the coming year

Chinese New Year in China gets very wild, due to the mass population and how highly it’s celebrated – ranking one of the most celebrated holidays in China – The morning after,  the streets are littered with firework wrappers, food, lanterns, and other remaining things from the festivities. Most people have the day off and even in the US in some parts people have the day off.  So, have you learned anything you didn’t know about Chinese or the ”Lunar” New Year?

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