2023: The Myths of the Chinese New Year

By: Arvie Midel

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

January 2023 has begun and the Chinese New Year will be celebrated in a few more days. Chinese New Year Celebrations do not just occur in China but are also renowned and acknowledged in different countries like Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and other countries in Asia.

While the People Celebrate in Their Cavite House and Lot, What Really Happens During the Spring Festival? What Makes It Special?

Most people in the Philippines welcome New Year’s Eve with loud noises, food, games, money, and other beliefs that will bring luck at the beginning of the year. On the other hand, the Chinese New Year Myth started back in ancient times. Over the years, many pieces of Chinese folklore have been passed down and delivered to children as tales, frequently to instill valuable lessons like compassion and family. Thus, the origins of Chinese New Year celebrations dwell in myth and superstition.

To Know More, Here Are a Compilation of a Few Well-Known and Intriguing Chinese New Year Myths:

Nián (年) The Monster!

photo from chinahighlights.com/

According to legend, the fearsome beast Nian would attack and devour villages each year as it came to an end. The Chinese New Year celebrations began after the beast was scared away using loud noises, red paper, and flashing lights. They discovered that Nian’s weakness was loud noises and the color red.

For this reason, on New Year’s Eve, families enjoy dinner in their houses, which have been strengthened with red decorations.

Firecrackers are set off at midnight. People will also dress in brand-new, festive red attire to celebrate.

The 12 Zodiac Animals

photo from secret-retreats.com/

The Chinese zodiac is one of the popular parts of the Chinese New Year. The story behind this started with the twelve Chinese zodiac animals that were chosen through a race, according to myths. This race is meant to create a time measurement for the people. There could only be twelve victors, and to win, the animals had to traverse a river with a strong current and arrive at the finish line on the shore.

The lunar calendar is arranged according to how the race turned out, with the rat coming in first and the pig coming in last. The sequence resumes after the pig. For China and the Chinese zodiac, the lunar calendar has been a prominent calendar. This calendar is also well-known throughout most of the world.

fú (福) Fortune is Here!

Calligraphy is another New Year’s Day decoration. fú (福), which means fortune or happiness, is the most commonly used term. However, people hardly ever see it upright because the story goes like this:

The Emperor of the Ming dynasty instructed every household to decorate by putting fu on their doors. On New Year’s Day, he deployed soldiers to inspect. They discovered that one family of illiterates had pasted the word reversed which made him very angry and punished the family to be killed. Luckily, the Empress saved the family as she provided an explanation: “here” ( / dào) is a homophone of “upside down” ( / dào) which indicates that fu is present when it is upside down. From that point forward, people would hang the letters upside down, both for good luck and to honor the benevolent Empress.

Red Envelopes

Giving red envelopes is a tradition that has its roots in another Chinese New Year myth concerning a demon by the name “Sui.” Children would be sleeping when the mythical creature would come and pat their heads, startling them and giving them a high fever. Afterward, a child was given eight coins in one specific year to play with in order to keep him up all night. They put the coins on red paper and left them next to his pillow as he went to sleep. The coins flashed and scared Sui away as it approached. Every New Year’s Eve after that, parents would present their kids’ cash wrapped in red paper.

Cash or coins are believed to be lucky money so a lot of people put their money in a red envelope and display it in their houses to attract luck and wealth. It can also be done in a new home to make a good start. There are Cavite house and lot that are placed in prime locations which offers convenience to the people.

Red Underwear

The color red is associated with luck and life in Chinese culture, a prominent hue during the Lunar New Year. When the Lunar New Year is celebrated, red underwear is frequently worn and is thought to be an auspicious adornment that all Chinese people, young and old, put on to maximize their luck and wealth.

Lantern Festival

The streets are lighted with lanterns of every shape and size, and poems and riddles are frequently created for amusement. Want to know an interesting story? In the Chinese community, there are also lanterns that are made in the form of animals, sometimes rabbits or the animal of the year. But what makes more interesting in this tradition is the story behind a female goddess named Chang E who leaped onto the moon as the source of the rabbit lantern. She brought a rabbit with her to keep her company so she wouldn’t travel alone. The goddess Chang E and her rabbit are believed to be visible on the moon on this day if one’s heart is good enough.

Traditional Food

Normally, families have meals together at a specific relative’s home, but nowadays, many families frequently spend New Year’s Eve dinner at a restaurant. Offering two whole fish and reserving one for leftovers symbolizes abundance in the next year. Other practices include providing a whole chicken to signify wholeness and success as well as serving things like spring rolls, which resemble bars of gold and denote wealth. In addition, the food can also be served in the new home of some relatives. There are Cavite house and lot that surely give luck to the homeowners because of the convenience, comfort, and safety that it offers.

Dragon Dances

Due to the Chinese people’s frequent belief that they are descended from the dragon of mythology, the dragon can be found in many Chinese cultural festivities.

Chinese culture believes that dancing the dragon dance during festivals and other occasions wards off evil spirits and brings good fortune and benefits to the neighborhood.

There are still other Chinese New Year myths that are truly fascinating. However, as people always say that the reality is that luck does not simply happen to some people. They are fortunate as a result of the outlook they choose. Looking for something new and searching for something exciting to happen this 2023? Try to invest more in huge things and take a big leap whenever there is an opportunity such as investing in a property like a Cavite house and lot.

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