Chinese New Year, All Over the World

January 31 – February 14
The historical significance of Chinese New Year is rooted in a vibrant lore. Legend holds that in ancient times, the mythical beast Nian would attack villages each New Year’s Eve after waking from a year’s slumber. As the story goes, one year, Nian came upon a village where several buffalo boys were engaging in a whip-cracking competition. The monster was so frightened by the explosive sounds that he fled to another village, only to be met with another startling scenario: a line of bright red clothes hanging to dry. Fleeing in terror once again, he happened upon a third village where he peeked in the crack of a door. Inside, the image of a bright burning candle dizzied him into frenzy.
The annual celebration of Chinese New Year has grown out of this tradition of superstition. For thousands of years since, the Chinese have hung crimson-coloured lanterns to scare away the beast, giving the occasion its iconic colour. Especially on the first day of the New Year, loud firecrackers, drums, and cymbals echo through the city, while fireworks and burning bamboo sticks keep the sky ablaze—all to keep the mythical Nian at bay. If there’s a China Town where you happen to be, then head there by all means.

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