Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year and 2009 is the year of the Ox. Unfortunately I have been sick all week (still am sick and can't wait to go to the doctor tomorrow) so I wasn't able to get the kid's the surprises ready for them in time for today.

We will celebrate on Saturday. I have super cute take-out boxes for each of them and I am going to put treats and surprises inside. And since I cannot cook Chinese food at all, we are taking the kid's out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. On the 16th we are taking them to see the Lion Dances performed so that should be exciting.

What is everyone else doing to celebrate?

I copied this from Wikipedia and it describes the legend of Chinese New Year

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children.

To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people.

One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors.

People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount.

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