Chinese New Year: the mithology of the festival

posted on 12th of march, 2009

© Nniud (Help)
One of the most famous beliefs associated with the Ancient Chinese New Year gains importance due to the myth of Nian, which in modern Chinese solely signifies year.

© Nniud (Help)
Nian was the name of a ferocious beast that started to devour people the night before the beginning of a new year. Nian had a very big mouth that would swallow dozens of people with one bite.

© Nniud (Help)
© Nniud (Help)
© Nniud (Help)
One day, an old man came to rescue the people and told Nian that "I hear say that you are very capable, but can you swallow the other beasts of prey on earth instead of people who are by no means of your worthy opponents?" After these words the old man was riding the beast Nian and was never seen again. Before the old man left, he had advised each and every household to paste red paper decorations on their windows and doors to lit the torches, and to set off the firecrackers at each year's end to keep away Nian, because Nian feared the color red, the light of fire, and loud noises.

© Nniud (Help)
Early the next morning, as thoughts of victory and renewal fill the ambience at effectively keeping Nian away for another year, the most heard greeting was Guo Nian, which signifies "Survive the Nian" and has become today "Celebrate the New Year"

Comments (5)

Comment by Creativei on March 14, 2009

Hey Nniud, I didn't tell I didn't like it, but I was wonder if the new year is come back again. Don't worry, I love all the blogs, I read almost all the blogs in DT. It was just I was curious to know if there is two new year like in Russia.

Comment by Nniud on March 14, 2009

Yes, it's just a brief passage from The Dream of the Red Chamber, a Chinese classic that I truly loved. It's a beautiful book to read, about ancient China during the Qing dinasty. There's a garden in Beijing done resembling the one described in that book, I could make a new blog entry about that..... hanks for the comment!!

Comment by Georgeskyrillos on March 14, 2009

Interesting... & awesome quote you have in your "About Me" section in profile!

Comment by Nniud on March 13, 2009

Nothing, I just wrote two lines of one of the several stories related to Chinese mythology and new year festivity. I thought it was interesting and didn't know there were so many already. Didn't mean to state that now was CNY of course, I live in Beijing and I can tell you that you are pretty much aware when CNY is, the noise is just too much. I'm sorry you find it not appropriate now. I was just getting used to the blog features, that's all. Hope you'll find the next ones more interesting. Cheers

Comment by Creativei on March 13, 2009

New Year Again??? sorry if I'm a dumb, but very recently there were several blogs about Chinese New Year. So my friend what is this again.??

Comments (5)

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Photo credits: Nniud.

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