February 8~ Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important Chinese traditional festival. Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the lunar calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar.

Legend says that there was a man-eating beast, “nian”, in ancient China. “Nian” would come from the mountain once a year on the New Year Eve and infiltrate houses silently to prey on humans and animals. People later learned that “nian” was afraid of loud noises and the colour red, so people use explosives, fireworks and colour red to scare “nian” away.

CNY is centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honour deities as well as ancestors. It is a time for family reunion and celebration. It is as important as the Thanksgiving Day and Christmas combined in the Western culture.

More information can be found at this wonderful blog:

Source: Chinese New Year custom (農曆新年習俗)