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Chinese New Year differs from our own New Year

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CHINESE New Year is a large celebration in the Asian culture, and the next Year of the Rooster starts on January 28. This holiday is traditionally celebrated for 15 days. Many people know of this celebration but not many know the history behind it. Most people assume this holiday is just people getting together and having a dragon costume run around.

Chinese New Year started from a myth about a wild animal that attacked and killed villagers. Bright Lights, colors, and loud noises were everywhere to scare the beast off. This is where Chinese New Year began.

The colors red and yellow can be commonly seen during the celebration. Red is used to represent good fortune and happiness. Yellow usually represents good luck but can be used to represent royalty. Green is used to symbolize money. Banks and businesses can be seen painted in red and green around the holiday.

Like the zodiac signs that we commonly see, the Chinese have animals that represent certain years. An animal is used to represent how the year will go. Each animal is associated with different personality traits that are believed to represent the people born during the year of that specific animal.

Money in red envelopes are traditionally given to children or people who aren’t married and have no job. Money in red envelops represent bringing more joy and blessings to the receiver. The red envelopes are believed to scare off bad spirits.

The dragon dance originated in China, but has quickly spread around the whole world. The dance is a special performance that is meant to bring good fortune and prosperity to everyone around the world.

Some foods are eaten for their symbolic meaning.  The type of fish that is chosen is based on what symbolic meaning they wish to bring during the year. It is believed that eating dumplings will bring more money. Certain noodles are thought to bring long lives, the person who cuts the noodles life will be cut short.

During the Chinese New Year, a lantern festival occurs. Lanterns are hung around the festival. Small children carry lanterns around. People insert slips of paper with their wishes into the lanterns and launch them into the night air. Different colors symbolize different meanings, and the color of the lantern represent what wish the person has made.

Fireworks are set off after midnight. The fireworks are used as a way to ward off evil. It is believed that the person who sets off the fireworks will obtain good luck for the new year. In Asia, the wealthy will buy huge amounts of fireworks so that each family member will have good luck.

New Year markets are opened only temporarily during the holidays. The stores will typically sell clothing, foods, decorations, fireworks, and small art. Lanterns are aligned throughout the markets.

Chinese New Year is very different from our very own New Years. Each tiny component that occurs has a reason for why it is done. Most that celebrate this holiday don’t know the reasoning behind certain things that are done. Lancers can now be more educated about this particular holiday.

an open forum for student expression
Chinese New Year differs from our own New Year