Happy Chinese New Year!
As I celebrate this day with a plateful of tikoy, I wonder, ‘what’s the tale behind this celebration?’. I have to know. I mean how long have I been celebrating this day with tikoy and all the while not knowing the back story? Crazy! So I Googled and am now gladly enlightened.
Here’s an excerpt from the ever-reliable Wikipedia:
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian(Chinese: 年; pinyin: Nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat 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 day 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. 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, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu’s mount.
Now I know what’s up with all the red
Let’s move on to the horse part. As many of you may know it is the Year of the Horse (or the wooden horse). Your date of birth determines your horoscope. I am an Ox, born in 1985.
Though it may be entertaining to know predictions for your sign, I never believed it. I think it’s silly to base one’s decisions on what his/her sign says.
I love the artwork of the zodiac signs on the stamps featured on this article though!