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Friday, January 31, 2014


Friday was the start of Chinese New Year celebrations that last up to 15 days. According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. 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 some people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red, and the villagers surmised that the Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to arrive, 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 and eventually was captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk.
-- (as seen in E-news from the ISL, 1/31/2013)

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