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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Maera

Winter Carnival Chinese New Year - Fun Facts!

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WOO HOO! Welcome to the New Year! (Also Called the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival in China). Here I am going to share some common and little known facts about the Chinese New Year celebrations, and ofcourse work out what animal we are (hypothetically of course, PUT THOSE ANGREAL AWAY!) alrighty :) - 

 

First of all, have a look below to see what your Chinese Animal Zodiac is (The Year you were born) or...the hour!

(perhaps see which suits your personality more!)

 

It is widely known that each year is associated with an animal, but the  signs are also assigned to months, days of the week, and hours!

According to Chinese astrology, a person's personality and life is more decided by his/her birth hour than year. Zodiac hours, days, months, and years are used together for in-depth character and destiny analysis. In popular astrology, by contrast, only the birth year is used.

In ancient times, in order to tell the time, people divided a day into twelve 2-hour periods, and designated an animal to represent each period, according to each animal's special time.

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Personality Traits:

 

DRAGON: Confident, Intelligent, Enthusiastic

RABBIT: Quiet, Elegant, Kind, Responsible

TIGER: Brave, Confident, Competitive

OX: Diligent, Dependable, Strong, Determined

RAT: Quick Witted, Resourceful, Versatile, Kind

PIG: Compassionate, Generous, Diligent

DOG: Lovely, Honest, Prudent

ROOSTER: Observant, Hardworking, Courageous

MONKEY: Sharp, Smart, Curious

GOAT: Calm, Gentle, Sympathetic

HORSE: Animated, Active, Energetic

SNAKE: Enigmatic, Intelligent, Wise 

 

 

The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people's daily lives, or have lucky meanings :) 

And to suit us DM'ers - it is a holiday based on a mythical beast. 

 

ORIGINS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR:

 

"According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian during the annual Spring Festival. The Nian would eat villagers, especially children in the middle of the night.One year, all the villagers decided to go hide from the beast. An old man, Yanhuang, appeared before the villagers went into hiding and said that he would stay the night, and would get revenge on the Nian. All the villagers thought he was insane. The old man put red papers up and set off firecrackers. The day after, the villagers came back to their town and saw that nothing had been destroyed. They assumed that the old man was a deity who came to save them. The villagers then understood that Yanhuang had discovered that the Nian was afraid of the color red and loud noises. So the tradition grew that when New Year was approaching, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by an ancient Taoist monk. After that, Nian retreated to a nearby mountain. The name of the mountain has long been lost over the years"

 

 

 

Today Chinese New year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. There is no set dates however the first day of the Chinese new year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 Jan and 20 Feb - This year, the first day of The New Year was 25th January - kicking off the Year of the Rat!

 

There can be up to 15 days of celebrations! Which each day having different focuses and traditions. 

(The following comes from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year#New_Year's_Eve)

 

THE FIFTEEN DAYS:

 

DAY ONE: 

The first day is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens and earth, officially beginning at midnight. It is a traditional practice to light fireworks, burn bamboo sticks and firecrackers and to make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil spirits as encapsulated by nian of which the term Guo Nian was derived. Many Buddhists abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed to ensure longevity for them. Some consider lighting fires and using knives to be bad luck on New Year's Day, so all food to be consumed is cooked the days before. On this day, it is considered bad luck to use the broom, as good fortune is not to be "swept away" symbolically.

 

 

DAY TWO:

The second day of the Chinese New Year, known as "beginning of the year" (开年開年kāinián was when married daughters visited their birth parents, relatives and close friends. (Traditionally, married daughters didn't have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.

 

 

DAY THREE:

The third day is known as "red mouth" (赤口Chìkǒu). Chikou is also called "Chigou's Day" (赤狗日Chìgǒurì). Chigou, literally "red dog", is an epithet of "the God of Blazing Wrath" (Chinese: 熛怒之神; pinyin: Biāo nù zhī shén). Rural villagers continue the tradition of burning paper offerings over trash fires. It is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting.[48] Hakka villagers in rural Hong Kong in the 1960s called it the Day of the Poor Devil and believed everyone should stay at home!

 

DAY FOUR:

In those communities that celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days, the fourth day is when corporate "spring dinners" kick off and business returns to normal. Other areas that have a longer Chinese New Year holiday will celebrate and welcome the gods that were previously sent on this day.

 

DAY FIVE:

This day is the god of Wealth's birthday. In northern China, people eat dumplings, on the morning of powu (Chinese: 破五; pinyin: pòwǔ). In Taiwan, businesses traditionally re-open on the next day (the sixth day), accompanied by firecrackers.

It is also common in China that on the 5th day people will shoot off firecrackers to get Guan Yu's  attention, thus ensuring his favor and good fortune for the new year

 

DAY SIX:

The sixth day is Horse's Day, on which people drive away the Ghost of Poverty by throwing out the garbage stored up during the festival. The ways vary but basically have the same meaning—to drive away the Ghost of Poverty, which reflects the general desire of the Chinese people to ring out the old and ring in the new, to send away the previous poverty and hardship and to usher in the good life of the New Year

 

DAY SEVEN: 

The seventh day, traditionally known as Renri (the common person's birthday), is the day when everyone grows one year older. In some Overseas communities in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore, it is also the day when tossed raw fish salad, yusheng is eaten for continued wealth and prosperity.

 

DAY EIGHT:

Another family dinner is held to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven. People normally return to work by the eighth day, therefore the Store owners will host a lunch/dinner with their employees, thanking their employees for the work they have done for the whole year.

 

DAY NINE:

The ninth day of the New Year is a day for Chinese to offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven in the Daoist Pantheon. 

In the morning of this birthday (traditionally anytime from midnight to 7 am), Taiwanese households set up an altar table with 3 layers: one top (containing offertories of six vegetables (Chinese: 六齋; pinyin: liù zhāi), noodles, fruits, cakes, tangyuan, vegetable bowls, and unripe betel, all decorated with paper lanterns) and two lower levels (containing the five sacrifices and wines) to honor the deities below the Jade Emperor.[52] The household then kneels three times and kowtows nine times to pay obeisance and wish him a long life.

Incense, tea, fruit, vegetarian food or roast pig, and gold paper is served as a customary protocol for paying respect to an honored person

 

DAY TEN:

The Jade Emperor's birthday party is celebrated on this day.

 

DAY FIFTEEN:

The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as "Yuanxiao Festival" (元宵节; 元宵節; Yuán xiāo jié), also known as "Shangyuan Festival" (上元节; 上元節; Shàng yuán jié) or the Lantern Festival (otherwise known as Chap Goh Mei (十五暝; Shíwǔmíng; 'the fifteen night') in Fujian dialect). Rice dumplings tangyuan (汤圆; 湯圓; tang yuán), a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, are eaten this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lantern. In China, Malaysia, and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking a romantic partner, akin to Valentine's Day. Nowadays, single women write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw them in a river or a lake after which single men collect the oranges and eat them. The taste is an indication of their possible love: sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate.

This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

 

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FUN FACTS:

- The Most Fireworks set off in the world at any one time is at Chinese New Year

-  It is the Longest Chinese Holiday

- The Chinese New Year causes the BIGGEST short term migration in the world 

-  Showering is not allowed on New Years Day and it is considered unlucky to clean or throw out rubbish before the 5th day

- Children Receive Lucky Red envelopes containing Money - also meant to be lucky and representing wealth passed from older to younger generations.

- There is special Wine just for the festival

- Your Zodiac Year is BADLUCK in China, and you are assumed to have a bad year when it comes up 

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Interesting facts, Maera. Good research on your part.

 

Based on year, month, and hour, I'm a Monkey, a Monkey, and a Rabbit. 

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I love Chinese astrology because I watched the anime "Fruits Basket."  It's got lots of Chinese lore in it.

 

I'm a pig (or boar).  Seems pretty accurate for me!

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I thought I was a Snake, as I am born on 01 Jan 89, however I automatically did it based on our years haha, so as it wouldnt be the new year on jan 1st...I am a DRAGONNNNNNN (reborn?) Hehe.

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4 hours ago, Maera said:

I thought I was a Snake, as I am born on 01 Jan 89, however I automatically did it based on our years haha, so as it wouldnt be the new year on jan 1st...I am a DRAGONNNNNNN (reborn?) Hehe.

I think you would be a marvelous dragon reborn!👍 *applauds maera for really cool thread*

I think I am a goat and a rabbit😃

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Snake here. I must say, most of the character traits they ascribe to the Snake fits me. I need lots of down-time away from people to recoup energy, for instance.

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