2015: Year of Caprinae
Year of the sheep, the ram, and the goat: I’m not going to debate, so I wish you happy year of Caprinae. According to South China Morning Post, scholars believe that it’s the year of the goat based ancient illustrations.
Today marks the 8th day out of the 15 days of Chinese New Year celebration. Why does it last this long? Just imagine celebrating Winter Solstice, Seasonal religious holiday, and Valentine’s day all in one. In fact, the final day of Chinese New Year is a version of Valentine’s day (元宵節)–the first full moon of the year.
The two-weeks celebration can also allow people to return home in time to meet with alllllll the relatives. After all, I remember hearing stories about how my Great-Grandfather sailed on a junk boat from Sydney, Australia all the way back to Canton, China.
Speaking of stories, festivals aren’t complete without their legends and folklores. Even though there are multiple versions of these stories, here are some of the highlights from my childhood:
1) New Year Day 1: The Red, The Fire Crackers, and the “Passing of Year”
In case you haven’t noticed, Chinese New Year is usually bombarded with red and gold. Maybe you’ve learned from somewhere that red symbolizes good luck and happiness, while gold means wealth. It’s true…but there’s more.
Just like Green Lantern having a weakness to things that are coloured yellow, a horrifying beast called “year” (年 – Nian) was terrified of the colour red. Each year, the beast would come out of its hiding place to terrorize villagers. Apparently the beast had hypersensitivity issues: In addition to the colour red, the beast really disliked loud noises.