Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy "Moo" Year to one & all!!

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. It is also called the Lunar New Year, especially by people outside China. This being the Year of the Ox, here's wishing all chinese visitors and friends a "Happy Niú (牛) Year" and may you all have lots of "moo-lah" this year, to buy more toys - ha! ha!

Mandarin oranges are the most popular and abundant fruit during Chinese New Year due to its significance in the chinese language - jin ju (Chinese: 金橘子; pinyin: jīn júzi) translation: golden tangerine/orange or kam (Chinese: 柑; pinyin: gum) in Cantonese.

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. 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. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again.

Clothing mainly featuring the colour red is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year because it is believed that red will scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. In addition, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe to symbolize a new beginning in the new year.

Coincidentally, the British also seem to favour red in their military uniforms (the Canadian Mountie too).

You have the Action Man Grenadier Guard, DiD's 42nd Royal Highlander Regiment, Action Man Life Guard

DiD 24th Regiment of Foot Private Williams and Dragon 24th Regiment of Foot Colour Sergeant on either side of Canadian Mountie

Ignite's Knight Hospitaller and behind him, Dragon's Coldstream Guards

A reunion dinner is held on New Year's Eve where members of the family, near and far away, get together for the celebration. Fish (simplified Chinese: 鱼; traditional Chinese: 魚; pinyin: yú) is included, as the Chinese phrase "may there be surpluses every year" (traditional Chinese: 年年有餘; simplified Chinese: 年年有余; pinyin: nián nián yǒu yú) sounds the same as "may there be fish every year." So let's all get fishy - LOL!!

8 comments:

Little Plastic Man said...

Wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous Chinese new year!

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

thanks adrian :) same to you

Mizu said...

Happy Chinese New Year Alex! Since we're keeping it traditional, I should also say "Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai!" :P

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

thanks michelle :) want ang pow must come & get lah - ha! ha! moooooo

desmond said...

Hey Alex, happy new year to you and your family :)

kenmoo said...

dong dong ceng~!!huat arhhhh...

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

Happy "Niu" Year to you too, desmond :)

Ken, hope you Tua Huat this "niu" year ;p

Kenny said...

Happy new year to you and your family Alex. HUAT AH!