Karmic updates via
Welcome!

Feel good and be in the know every day! Get a FREE DailyHoroscope.com membership for daily insight and practical advice to improve your Karma and your life! Sign up now »

Learn the History of Chinese New Year

Traditions of folklore, family and festivity

According to Chinese legend, ancient people were once terrorized by a beast called the Nian -- a ferocious, man-eating monster. The beast came out every 12 months to prey on humans, until an old man tricked it into disappearing. The brute's departure was a cause for celebration, and became the Chinese New Year. 

The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, which usually falls somewhere between January 21 and February 20. In 2014, we'll begin celebrating Chinese Year of the Wood Horse on January 31. 

If you live in a city that has a Chinatown, you've no doubt seen the red and gold decorations, fireworks and parades. It was believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noise and the color red, so both are used liberally to commemorate the occasion. Gold, not surprisingly, symbolizes wealth, and is said to bring prosperity in the New Year.

Each New Year is ruled by an animal in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, in that order. If you're wondering how the order came to be, there's a legend behind that, too. Buddha invited all of the animals to help him celebrate the Chinese New Year, and announced that each year would be represented by one of them. They had a race to determine who would go first. The Ox was in the lead, but the Rat jumped onto his back, jumped off at the last minute and won the big prize -- the first lunar year. The Pig, being the laziest of the bunch, came in last. People born in each year are said to carry the personality traits of that animal -- like the western zodiac signs relate to ruling planets.

On the days leading up to the New Year, Chinese families clean their homes, believing it will erase the previous year's bad luck and open their homes to the good. Chinese New Year's Eve is celebrated with a large family dinner containing fish and dumplings, the latter of which symbolize wealth because they are shape like gold nuggets. Read more about this cultural feast and find links to Chinese New Year recipes.

The Chinese New Year celebration itself lasts for 15 days. The first day is the big celebration, complete with firecrackers and parades. Children are given red envelopes containing money. Markets also open, and people hang paper signs on doors welcoming luck, happiness and prosperity. The days following differ based on activities and foods eaten. For example, the second day is one in which married daughters visit their parents. On the seventh day, the Chinese eat yusheng, a tossed raw fish salad.

Chinese New Year celebrations aren't just limited to China. While Japan doesn't celebrate the holiday, other Asian countries do, including Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia and Nepal.

Tarot Reading from Tarot.comGet your personal Essential Chinese Astrology Profile from Tarot.com.

Comments

Add in Your Comment!

 

3 Comments to "Learn the History of Chinese New Year"
The profile picture for Karen A Kay.
Karen A Kay says:
Wed, 02/06/2013 - 17:44

Hi Cynthia! Chinese Astrology incorporates five elements, which are associated with colors -- and the color for the Water element is black. Metal is white, Water is black, Wood is green, Fire is red and Earth is brown. Hence, it's the year of the Black Water Snake. Hope that helps!

The profile picture for Cynthia R. Bradley.
Cynthia R. Bradley says:
Wed, 02/06/2013 - 14:14

The year of the Snake is upon us. Remember 911 happened in the Year of the Snake, sneaky behind the scene stuff. . .
Was wondering why its the "Black" Water Snake, what significance to color.
Forever optimistic, I was born in the year of the Earth Rat.
Blessings to all!

The profile picture for Peter.
Peter says:
Tue, 01/24/2012 - 14:14

I love the Chinese New Year Time~though I am a Chicano-Latino. I had Chinese neighbors who were like extended family next door growing up. I was born in the Year of the Rabbit @Peta_de_Aztlan

Blogger Beats
Celebrity Blogger

Apr 16, 2014

Align Yourself for April's Cardinal Grand Square

By Rick Levine

Astrologers all around the world have been watching recent developments with great interest as we approach the fifth of seven history-changing squarescontinued »

Staff Blogger

Watch out world, here comes the almighty Aries-Taurus cusper! If you were born on the cusp between Aries and Taurus, between about April 16 to April 23, you were born on The Cusp of Power and you are indeed a force to be reckoned with. ... continued »

by Sally Philips

When tax time comes around, are you the plan-ahead type, or do you panic at the last minute? Regardless of your approach, Feng Shui can help you create the low-stress environment you need to tackle this important job. ... continued »

Sure, Pluto was demoted in astronomy back in 2006. But in Astrology, Pluto is one of the most unpredictable planets, and it will be even more unpredictable as Pluto goes retrograde in the serious sign of Capricorn from April 14 to Sept. 22, 2014. ... continued »

Mercury is the sprightly planet that impacts how we think and how we express ourselves. Are you ready for fast talk and even speedier thoughts? Brace yourself: Mercury is moving into always-on-the-go Aries on April 7, 2014, lifting us out of a dreamy daze ... continued »

Good news, lovers! Venus, the passionate planet of partnerships, will make her grand, glamorous entrance into the dreamy sign of Pisces on April 5, 2014. Our approach to love and partnership is impacted by whatever sign Venus happens to be in, and romance doesn't get much sweeter than when Venus is exalted in emotional Pisces. ... continued »

Lovers, rejoice! Love planet Venus is moving into dreamy, compassionate Pisces from April 5 to May 2, a time when romance will turn sweet, talk becomes tender and relationships grow more intimate. ... continued »

Life and love are about to slow down as Mars goes Retrograde in the partnership sign of Libra from March 1 to May 19, 2014. We know Mars as the aggressive "warrior planet," but we're going to need to rethink that when this bold action planet moves into the peaceful horoscope sign of Libra ... continued »

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

This intense "Blood Moon" will
turn relationships inside out! More »

More for today

Get more insight into your day!

Horoscope
Horoscope
Tarot
Tarot
Number
Number
Hexagram
Hexagram