Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Welcome to the China-Macau Bulletin, February 2012

Legend behind the New Year Story
In Chinese, Chinese New Year Eve is called Chu-Xi or Guo-Nihn . Chu means removal. Xi means night. Gwo means passing. Nihn means year. Original meaning of Nihn is related to farmer's harvest. Chinese Farmers celebrated their achievement for the past year, appreciated the gracious reward given from the god, and prayed for the same luck for the coming year.
Nobody knows when the legendary story about Nihn began. Nihn was a ferocious beast. It had lion-type head with elephant-type body. Nihn couldn't find the food in the cold winter time, because many animals hibernated in the mountains. Hence, it had go down from the mountain to find the livestock. Later, It become a man-eater.
Nihn was too strong to kill. For the fear of Nihn, every winter night, people kept themselves locked-up inside the house. Years later, people found out that Nihn was afraid of red, fire and noisy sound. So they cut red-color peach wood hanging on the door, made a campfire in the front of the door. When Nihn approached the village, then people put the bamboo into the fire to make cracking sound. They also beat the metal kitchen and farming utensils to make noisy sound to scare Nihn away.
Those who survived the passing night, celebrated congratulated each other on the next day. People felt like a restarting point after passing the disaster. Then, they called Guo-Nihn (passing Nihn) as the day before the new starting day. [Does the story sound a bit too familiar? Going back to the book of Exodus and reading the Pass-over story might help!]
The Chinese New Year is for sure the most colourful celebration among the whole of Chinese population. Every year, the new year is welcomed with cleaning up the households, family reunion meals, prayers, greetings, exchange of gifts, fireworks, and cultural events. The Following clip shows this year's New Year Parade in Hong Kong.

- Courtesy: TVB

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