1By Molly Balsam & Melissa Weinstein Chinese New Year!By Molly Balsam & Melissa Weinstein
2IntroductionChinese New Year is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. It lasts for 15 days. That’s a bit more than two weeks! People are rushing to China to celebrate this holiday with friends and family members. Certain animals represent a different year. The Chinese emperor threw a contest to chose the animals that represent each year. If you want to know more about Chinese New Year, sit back, relax, and read on.
3Why we Celebrate Chinese New Year Chinese New Year has been celebrated for many years. Believe it or not, Chinese New Year started all because of one little legend. We celebrate this holiday because of a dragon named Nian. Nian came out the night before the first day of the New Year to scare everyone. The Chinese believed that one day a wise old man came up Nian and asked him a question that made Nian think. Nian felt so bad, he asked the man to ride on his back. After that, they were never seen again! That’s how Chinese New Year all started!
4TraditionsThe Chinese have many traditions. It’s a tradition to wear red on the New Year. The color color red scares away Nian the the monster, and brings good luck. Also, on Chinese New Years, since red is a traditional color, people give out red envelopes with money inside witch they call “Lucky Money.” Also, people give each other poems on on red paper.
5Bad LuckThe Chinese people have different signs to tell good luck and bad luck apart. Its very important to know how to get rid of bad luck! Do you want to know what some bad luck signs are? Just follow this list and you will know how to stay away from bad luck. Through out Chinese New Year, bad luck can come and go. All the bad luck you may here was all believed by the Chinese. The Chinese will say bad luck is buying a new pair of shoes. They will also say that getting a hair cut is bad luck. Some bad luck only lasts for half or less than half of Chinese New Year. For example sweeping your house is bad luck. Luckily, this tradition only lasts for a couple of days….
6Bad LuckAfter a couple of days of the new year, you are free to sweep again. There is one bad luck sign that everyone needs to know. Never Ever wear black or white to a celebration. These colors symbolizes bad luck and death. Now that you know about bad luck, make sure no one passes bad luck to you!
7Good LuckThere are many ways to get good luck for the New Years. For an example, you should sweep your house before the New Years so everything is nice and clean. However, if you sweep your house on the first or second day of the new year, you are risking sweeping away your good luck for that year! Also, on the new years, you should wear red and yellow. Red symbolizes fire which according to legend, can drive away bad luck. Also, since red is a lucky color, people give out red envelopes with money in them. People call this “Lucky Money.” People also write poems on red paper. Now that you know how to keep good luck, and drive away bad luck, there is nothing to be afraid of.
8Chinese ZodiacThere once was a contest the emperor threw. The 12 first animals that swam across the river and reached the other side first, would get a year named after their animal. The Chinese believed a story about the cat and the rat. So the story went like this, the cat and the rat were best friends. However, that all changed. The cat and the rat entered the swimming race across the river. Since the cat and the rat were small animals, they asked the buffalo if they can ride on his back. The buffalo said yes. But in the water, the rat tricked the buffalo, and jumped off his back, and came in first place. The buffalo came in second. But at the end, the cat never made it. And that is why the cat and the rat are now enemies.
9Chinese FoodsThere are different traditional foods that the Chinese eat on Chinese New Year. Different foods have different meanings. For example tangerines and oranges bring good luck and wealth. You might think that you should eat healthy on Chinese new year, but that is not always the case. Sweets bring a sweet life and luck for he new year. Also noodles represent a long life. You want to have a long life don’t you? Some foods do not have meanings. For example Nian Gao is a type of cake. Some of these foods have something special about there name. Nian Gao got its name because Gao means cake. Dumplings are also a traditional food. This is because dumplings have been around for a long time. “lions head” meatballs are also a traditional food. They symbolize wholeness and togetherness.