Friday, January 29, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010, The Year of the Tiger

The legend—

According to an old Chinese legend, the word “year” ("年" pronounced “Nian”) was a monster which would come out every New Year‘s eve to devour livestock and people or to destroy the nearby village. People would run and hide in the mountains from this monster, until one year, an old man, perhaps a deity, scared the monster away single handedly. People learned from him to use firecrackers, big lanterns, and red banners on New Year’s Eve to frighten the monster away. The people then congratulated each other the next morning on New Year’s Day to celebrate that they lived through the monster’s terror safely!

The tradition—

Today the Chinese New Year is about family reunions and wishing everyone good fortune for the coming year. But with more and more Chinese living overseas, busy schedules, financial restraints, and other reasons make it impossible for most Chinese abroad to go home to celebrate the New Year with friends and share the joy with their community.

The celebration—

On Saturday, February 6 from 2 – 3 p.m. a Chinese New Year Celebration that includes a Lion dance, Chinese yoyos, and Chinese music will take place in The Urbana Free Library Lewis Auditorium. This program will not only highlight a part of 5,000 years of Chinese culture and tradition but will also bring the joy of the New Year celebration to everyone in the community, whether Chinese or not. Share Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diane Goldsmith with your children to get ready for the celebration. --Shih Mei C. and Barb L.

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