The Year of the Goat began on February 19. During Chinese New Year, you’ve probably heard the pop of firecrackers and seen red scrolls and lanterns decorating Chinatowns across the country and Chinese people’s homes. Maybe you’ve observed Chinese people handing out red envelopes with money inside to kids for good luck. And if you’re lucky, you’ve been invited to celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve with a feast, the dinner table filled with special dishes for this special occasion. But do you know the origin of these customs?
According to legend, there was a mythical monster named “Nien” (which also means “year” in Chinese). This monster was capable of destroying villages, killing people and eating livestock. The villagers believed Nien was afraid of two things: the color red and loud noises. So on the eve before Nien arrived, people posted red scrolls on every door, and fired firecrackers and pounded drums to ward off the monster. Just in case they didn’t survive Nien’s attacks, they ate all their livestock before Nien arrived and gave their money to their kids in a red pocket. The legend ends happily: the mythical monster was successfully conquered by all these tactics, and the next day the villagers congratulated each other for staying alive. Even today, the Chinese greet each other with “Congratulations” instead of “Happy New Year” during Chinese New Year. Directly translated from Chinese, Chinese New Year actually means Passing of the Nien.
Great gift ideas for Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year, celebrated by Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and Singaporeans around the world, lasts for 15 days. If you’re meeting your Asian friends during this month, greeting them with a red gift will bring them good luck. Here are two gift ideas in red that will bring your family, friends and co-workers joy and good fortune. These gifts are not only good for Chinese New Year but all celebrations, such as weddings, births, moving into new homes, birthdays, store openings, and holidays.
Double Happiness Trivet and Coasters
Satin Brocade Wine Bottle Covers