Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Happy New Year

 This is the Chinese greeting for the New Year celebrated in the beginning of the year.
People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, capable, and talented. They like to be busy and are devoted beyond their capabilities and are deeply disappointed if they fail. People born in the Rooster Year are often a bit eccentric, and often have rather difficult relationship with others. They always think they are right and usually are! They frequently are loners and though they give the outward impression of being adventurous, they are timid. Rooster people’s emotions like their fortunes, swing very high to very low. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, starts at the beginning of spring. It occurs somewhere between January 30 and February 20. Each Chinese year is represented by a repeated cycle of 12 animals, the rat, ox, tiger, hare or rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
Chinese New Year is China's biggest holiday. Its origin is ancient, but many believe the word Nian, which means "year", was the name of a beast that preyed on people on the eve of a new year.
The legend says, long ago, there was a monster called Nian. It was born to be very ugly and ferocious, which looked like either dragons or unicorns. On the first and the 15th of each lunar month, the monster would come down from the mountains to hunt people. So people were very much afraid of it and locked their doors early before sunset on the days of its coming. There lived an old wise man in a village. He thought it was the panic in people that made the monster so bold and furious. Thus the old man asked people to organize together and to conquer the monster by means of beating drums and gongs, burning bamboo, and lighting fireworks in purpose of making large noises to threaten the hateful monster. When he told people about the idea, everybody agreed on it. At a moonless and freezing cold night,the monster, Nian, appeared again. The moment it opened its mouth at people, burst out the frightening noises and fire made by people, and wherever the monster went, it was forced to back off by the terrible noises. The monster couldn't stop running until he fell down with exhaustion. Then people jumped up and killed the evil monster. Savage as the monster was, he lost in the end under the efforts from the cooperation of people. Since then, people have kept the tradition by beating drums and gongs, and lighting fireworks at the coldest day in winter to drive the imagined monsters away and to celebrate the victory over it. Today, Nian refers to the New Year's day or the Spring Festival. People often say Guo Nian, which means 'live the festival.' Furthermore, Nian also means the year. For an example, the Chinese often greet each other by saying Xin Nian Hao, which means Happy New Year! Xin means new and Hao means good. 

    My name in Chinese characters. If you would like to learn more about the Chinese New Year and how to write your name in Chinese characters click here


  1. What a bright and colourful entry.  I was able to get my name written in Chinese, well almost my name, it only had one "n" missing.  I also found I am a goat according to their calendar but was unable to find the characteristics and whether it fits me lol.

  2. Well, now that explains why we get along I suppose...I'm a snake.  Jennifer and I were looking those up the other day after I got her hooked on mah jong over at pogo.  :)

    I'm interested to see what my name looks like in chinese I go.

    Sammie  :)

  3. I am so glad to be able to read your journal again!

  4. Very interesting. I looked mine up somewhere one time. I think I am a rat not sure. I wasn't too excited about that. Paula


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