Monday, January 26, 2009

XIN NIAN HAO

The Year of the Ox begins today...

Many thousands and thousands of years ago, there was a small village in China. Its villagers were being terrorized by a monster , the Nian, that looked like a dragon. The Nian came to the village once a year to eat its villagers. Whenever he would show up at the village, many villagers would be missing the following day.

The villagers tired of this got together to get rid of this evil and hungry creature. As the Nian had once been scared away by a little child wearing red, they realized that he was afraid of the color red.

They decorated the front of their houses with bright red banners, burned fire crackers and played loud drums. Some disguised as lions danced to the beat of the drums.

By doing this they actually scared the monster away. The following morning, all the villagers were still alive.

The following year when the Nian was supposed to arrive, the villagers repeated the same ceremony. They put red lanterns and scrolls in front of their houses, lit firecrackers, and did the lion dance. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The following day they congratulated each other for being lucky and alive; and ever since that time, the Chinese have called this day “The New Year Day.”

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