Chinese New Year 2016 & Year Of The Snake

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Chinese New Year 2016 The Year Of The Snake

The Asian New Year celebration is causing the feast of the winter solstice which marked the end of winter and the arrival of spring, this festival dates back to ancient times and was especially celebrated by farmers.

Chinese New Year 2015

It is under the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC. BC-256 AD) that the winter solstice began to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Emperor that day would perform rites in honor the sky gradually popularized this custom to become the day of worship from heaven and ancestors. It begins on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar and ends on the last day of the twelfth lunar month.

Day Of the Winter Solstice

There are more than 2500 years to the time of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-221 BC.) China has determined primitive sundial with the winter solstice. This is the first part of which was determined from the 24 year climate periods. It lies between 22 and 23 December. When the day of the winter solstice, the day is the shortest and the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. After that day, the days become longer and yang aspect is enhanced, starting a new cycle. It is regarded in China as a positive.

Day celebration of the winter solstice date of the Han Dynasty (206 BC. J.-C.-220). She became a regular under the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279). Under the Han Dynasty, the winter solstice was considered the winter festival and ceremony of official celebration was to be held each year. That day, the officials enjoyed a day off, the army remained in place, the password border was closed, the shops remained closed and friends visited, offering each other a gift. Under the Tang Dynasty and Song, the common people that day offered a sacrifice to the ancestors and presented their best wishes to their parents. The Emperor attended him at the ceremony of worship in Heaven organized in the suburbs of the capital. In the documents of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is this inscription: The winter solstice is more important than the Spring Festival.” This shows that the ancestors placed great importance on the Day of the winter solstice.

During the winter solstice, it is customary to eat hunt soup small dumplings in parts of northern China and ravioli in some other areas. These meals allow people to not fear the cold in the south, we eat beans cooked to hunt demons and epidemics or tangyuan glutinous rice balls filled. Tangyuan which can also be offered as offerings to ancestors or as a gift to friends. In the province of Taiwan, the tradition of giving cake-nine leaves to the ancestors on the day of the winter solstice, is maintained until today; offerings can also be cakes glutinous rice flour shape of a rooster, duck, turtle, pig, beef or mutton, steamed. On this day, people of the same clan gather in the temple of the ancestors of the clan to worship according to the order of their generations, before the tablets of the ancestors After the end of the rites, they feast together.

The Last Day Of The Lunar Year

Lunar New Year’s Eve or Chuxi the last day of the year is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. Legend has it that long ago at the time of the great flood was a vicious monster named Nian, which means “year.” Last night of each lunar month, the monster came out of the sea, killing people and wreaked havoc in their fields and gardens. Only two families unhurt. The first a young married couple, whose party clothes were red as fire which frightened the monster, who dared not go to them. The other family will unharmed thanks to children playing with firecrackers, the noise frightened the monster. Since then, people wear red clothes firecrackers explode and put up red decorations to keep the monster Nian farthest possible. According to the legend, the emperor took away Nian Star and everyone found peace.

The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival happens on the 15th of the first lunar month around February or March. It has become a festival essential Dynasty Western Han (206 BC. J.-C.-25). Admire the lanterns is one of the main activities of the festival. Under the Han Dynasty (206 BC. J.-C.-220), Buddhism spread widely in China. After learning that the monks were accustomed on the 15th of the 1st lunar month to look at the relics of the Buddha and light lamps to greet the geniuses, the emperor ordered to turn as the evening of the same day, the lanterns imperial palace and temples to pay respects to the spirits. Since then the Buddhist rite gradually became a grand festival in China. Today, during the Lantern Festival all regions organize an exhibition of lanterns. We admire these beautiful lanterns of different shapes and children playing in the street, holding in his hand a lantern made by family or purchased in the store.

The Spring Festival (Chun Jie)

The houses are thoroughly cleaned, debts repaid, hair cut and new clothes purchased. The doors are decorated with vertical rollers and characters are written on red paper, the texts promote good luck and praise to nature. This practice arising from the suspension charming wooden fishing on doors to ward off evil spirits and ghosts. In many homes and temples, incense is burned in a mark of respect to the ancestors.

The Lion Dance

In China, the lion dance is a tradition and is one among other Chinese New Year festivities. The lion represents both a symbol of strength, courage and wisdom. To make more effective the eyelids, mouth and ears of the lion are mobile. The lion does not dance alone. It is accompanied by the sound of drums and firecrackers. The climax of the dance is when the lion eats green cabbage leaves which he spits out a red packet to keep hidden inside action accompanied by a crescendo of percussion to give all his drama. The lion dance requires for all those who practice a lot of skill.

(Source: China.org.cn)

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