Celebrating The Lunar New Year…….. :-D
Posted by ErnieJean on January 23, 2009
Girl : Hello, my boss asked me to find out whether your boss celebrates Chinese New Year or not. He wants to send over a hamper.
Me : My boss is chinese, so I think he does (aiyoh…want to send, just send-lah, dun need to ask mah)
Girl : But your boss is Christian right? So he celebrates Christmas or Chinese New Year?
Me : *Speechless*
Funny thing is that this girl is not the first who has asked me that. And I can’t blame them for being confused.
So, what exactly is Chinese New Year all about? Is it cultural or religious?
Hhhhmm……for those still in Blur-Zone, let me attempt to clear this misconception then.
Chinese New Year is basically the chinese community celebrating the first day of the first lunar month of the lunisolar Chinese calender (as opposed to the Gregorian calender).
There are many legends as to the origins of the Chinese New Year celebrations but the one I found most fascinating would probably be the one about an evil ferocious beast called “Nien” who likes to snack on the chinese people on the eve of the new year. Because “Nien” fears the colour red and bright lights, the chinese would put up red decorations, wear red, light fireworks, etc to keep it away.
I suppose that explains the practice of over-indulgence of red all over town during this time of the year.
In many Chinese households, where Buddishm and Taoism are prevalent, rituals involving prayers and offerings of joss-sticks to the gods, especially the “Choy San Yeh” (Prosperity God) are carried out during the Lunar New Year. However, chinese of other religions do conduct their own prayers, but usually more private in nature, hence it’s only natural to assume that the Chinese New Year is only celebrated by the Buddists and Taoists.
Other than the prayer part, other forms of celebration such as the “ang pow” giving, wearing of red, reunion dinners, etc are purely cultural…..they may have originated from some superstition or pagan legend, but because these practices have been so commercialised that the paganistic meaning behind each action has sort of been lost……..reminds one very much of Christmas celebrations, what with the christmas trees and Santa Claus.
Check out http://chinese-new-year.123holiday.net/ for more details on the Chinese New Year, it’s origins, superstitions and practices 😀
And besides, as Malaysians, we celebrate just about every other festivals don’t we? Any festival is an excuse for binging and more binging and of course fellowship with loved ones ;D
So, here’s wishing all my dearest fellow Dandies and everyone out there…..GONG XI FA CHAI!!!!!! May The Year Of The Ox Be A Bullish One!!!